With 2012 approaching, we’re getting a head start on our New Year’s resolution to shed some excess weight and improve our overall appearance. You may have seen our ongoing efforts to improve the look, feel, and user experience across many other Google products to date. And with Google Map Maker available in the Philippines, United States, Canada, and more than 180 other regions, it’s time for another makeover. Today, we’re revealing a new version of Google Map Maker to help users map the places they know best and make their hometowns sparkle on Google Maps.
With Map Maker, you can easily help ensure that the changing world around you is accurately reflected on the map. Add your favorite gift shop, the nearest tree farm, or even the golf course where you once got that hole in one. It’s also easier to mark the best route to Grandma’s house and draw better buildings with courtyards and crisper corners. The options are endless when it comes to mapping the places you know and love. Once approved, your contributions will appear on Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Maps for mobile for all the world to see (video).
Since the October 2008 launch in the Philippines of Google’s Map Maker, Filipinos have been responsible for greatly improving the quality of their local maps. Volunteers across the country have mapped their neighborhoods, correcting and moderating each others’ changes to create the most accurate maps possible.
These maps have made a positive social impact. In 2009, Google Maps played a large role in the Crisis Response Page after Typhoon Ondoy submerged major roads in Metro Manila and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Filipino volunteers added crucial updates to the map, including information about missing people, road conditions, developing news, and locations on where to donate relief supplies. During the Philippine Elections in 2010, Google engineers developed a map for Filipinos to help them find a voting center in their precinct and enable Filipinos to help others by identifying the voting areas in Google Maps at http://www.findyourprecinct.ph/.
Why not make your New Year’s resolution to improve the map for millions of people? Start here.