Never a company to be content with its product offerings, Google has been busy making improvements to Google Maps and preparing Map Maker for a relaunch.
The world’s leading search engine company used its own Google+ to announce on 10th July that Google Maps is being made sharable. According to the update, map users have been given the option of syncing desktop maps to a mobile device. In order to share maps, users must have both devices signed in to Google Maps. Once this is done, users should be able to see available devices below search results under the tag “Send to Device.” The update applies to iPhone and Android devices. It should be noted, however, that Maps set to “lite mode” will not facilitate the new sharing feature.
The comments in the Google+ post indicate that many users have been experiencing trouble syncing their devices, but Google has said that the update should work properly provided that both devices are running the latest version of Maps. In addition, both devices have to be signed in to the one account, have to have enabled notifications, and there has to be a steady Wi-Fi connection.
Google shut down Map Maker following instances of map vandalism and similar trouble, including inadvertent racist listings resulting from offensive search queries. The controversy did not escape media attention and was the subject of a plethora of articles, but Google was quick to respond by taking the feature offline. To coincide with the relaunch, Google is introducing a new moderation procedure, with a greater emphasis on community moderation as opposed to moderation in-house by company staff.
Google will reopen Map Maker in stages, beginning in early August. To moderate edits, the company is looking for “qualified Regional Lead candidates”, but some edits will continue to be reviewed and approved by in-house operators. Google says, nonetheless, that the bulk of Map Maker will be subject to community moderation. The company does say that the heavy use of community moderation may result in delayed implementation of edits, but that it is working to meet long-standing community requests to provide local editors with a greater degree of control.