Google has created its Google Maps feature largely from its own hands up to this point—an impressive feat. But the softwarwe giant has now admitted that it cannot complete its vision alone and is inviting Canadians to update its maps Wikipedia-style.
Quoth The Globe and Mail:
“Google’s objective here is to create an accurate atlas of the world and the reality is that Google’s not big enough to do this (alone),” said Google Canada spokesman Aaron Brindle. “When it comes to our assumptions around who actually is in possession of the most relevant information to any user, I think it’s hubris to assume Google alone can do it without the help of the community of our users. It’s a model that’s worked with Wikipedia and a model that’s worked astoundingly well when it comes to the maps (elsewhere in the world) that are already online.”
This more open type of Maps feature should serve to update old and correct inaccurate information, as well as add new data Google failed to capture, particularly in more rural areas. All changes will be vetted by Google before being published on Maps.
Unlike Wikipedia, though, this call to arms doesn’t render any of Google Maps’ data open or otherwise available to the secret.
OpenStreetMap.org is a lesser-known Canadian maps service that has been supporting a community-powered concept for years.