​Google's Map Maker to make a return in August

Google is reopening Map Maker after it suspended the community editing tool when it found a user had created a urinating Android mascot.
Written by Aimee Chanthadavong, Contributor

Google has announced that it will be reopening Map Maker for editing in early August, and will rely on the community to moderate edits on the platform.

The company suspended the community editing tool for Google Maps in May, after an increasing number of users were found to be vandalising the platform, in one case posting an Android robot urinating on an Apple logo.

Previously, Google employed an automated system for reviewing edits from mappers, and offered to push edits up the queue if members reviewed other mappers' edits. Contributors were also able to build up a reputation of trust to become power mappers.

Google Map Maker product manager Pavithra Kanakarajan said in a blog post that it will make the tool more open for moderation by the community, and less by Google operators.

This will start with Google selecting mappers in each region and offering them the opportunity to apply for the role of a regional lead on Map Maker. Edits made in a lead's region will then be reviewed by them and Google's automated moderation system.

Kanakarajan said Google operators will only occasionally moderate edits in these areas.

"The reason for this change is that every time we observed someone attempting to vandalise the map, many of you acted quickly to remove the offending feature and demonstrated real ownership for maps within your region," she said.

"We have come to the conclusion that of all the defences available to keeping our maps clean, the interest of a community of well-intentioned users is among the most reliable and fast."

Map Maker will be reopened in phases, based on when a qualified regional lead candidate is appointed.

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