Google Map Maker to reopen in August after robot urinator controversy | Google maps

Google is relaunching its Map Maker tool, which allows people to make changes to its Google Maps service, but will give its user community more powers to moderate digital vandalism.

The tool was shut down in May, shortly after an image of the Android robot urinating on an Apple logo was discovered on Google Maps just south of the Pakistani city of Rawlpindi, after it was added using Map Maker.

At the time, product manager Pavithra Kanakarajan said there had been “an escalation of attacks to spam Google Maps in recent months.”

She promised that Map Maker would remain suspended until “we find ways to add smarter mechanisms to prevent such incidents.” Kanakarajan has now posted a new blog post on Google’s plans to relaunch the tool.

“Map Maker will be reopened for editing in early August, and we are looking for users to now have more influence over the outcome of edits in their specific countries,” she wrote.

“This means that changes to Map Maker will be more and more open to community moderation… This is a request you have been making for a very long time, and this change should hopefully be good news. “

Google will select users in each region to become “regional managers” on Map Maker, with the ability to review changes made using Map Maker in their region, supported by the company’s automated moderation technology.

“We have come to the conclusion that of all the defenses available to keep our cards clean, the interest of a community of well-meaning users is among the most reliable and the fastest,” Kanakarajan wrote.

Map Maker was introduced in 2008 as a way for Google Maps users to directly edit information on the mapping service, filling in information gaps from third-party Google vendors.

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