Google links Philippine users to Google Maps

Service's users can now view more accurate and updated online maps of the country, thanks to efforts of local Google Map Maker users.
Written by Joel D. Pinaroc, Contributor

MANILA--Google said it has "linked" the contributions of Philippine users of its popular Google Map Maker to Google Maps, allowing people across the globe to view the edits of Filipino users.

In an announcement last week, Google said millions of Google Maps users can now view more accurate and updated online maps of the Philippines, including new roads, points of interests and more regions all over the archipelago.

Google in October launched Google Map Maker in the Philippines, allowing the country to join some 121 nations in which the application is available.

The company said the Philippines is "unique" and a challenge for Google Map Maker users, owing to the more than 7,000 islands found in the country.

Due to the popularity of Google Map Maker among Filipino users, Google said it was compelled to take the next step to include Philippine contributors to Google Maps.

But Derek Callow, marketing chief for Google Southeast Asia, said the company will not offer any commercial application for Google Maps in the Philippines.

In an interview with ZDNet Asia, Callow said the inclusion of Philippine contributors to Google Maps is an initiative "purely for users of Google".

"It is extremely important for us to provide this service. Most Internet users access the Web to search for some location-based information, and this platform will do just that," Callow said.

He added Google does not plan to introduce money-generating schemes for Google Maps in the Philippines and will instead focus on generating more traffic ad more users.

The executive said Google is also not looking at partnering or tying up with local data providers on possible commercial applications of Google Maps data.

The executive said a large part of the Philippines's geographic data is not yet available online, and that this initiative "is purely for users to contribute" to make these information available via the Internet.

Although he did not have actual figures, Callow said Google Map Maker users in the Philippines currently stand at "hundreds of thousands", based on daily edits.

Joel D. Pinaroc is a freelance IT writer based in the Philippines.

Editorial standards