The Google Maps app is getting an update that enables you to edit a business listing, or add a place that isn’t already visible. Google also wants everyone to start adding descriptions of places, such as whether a restaurant serves vegetarian food or if it rates as “romantic.” To verify these public alterations, the Maps product team is adding tools that also crowdsource the editing process. Any suggested changes will be run by other users who can select whether the edit is correct or not.
No doubt the updates are geared towards aiding Google in amassing more data to feed its “Explore” recommendation feature, and building what Ed Parsons, Google’s geographer-in-chief, calls a “selfie for the planet.” Still, user-generated content has been tricky, as he told Fast Company’s Linda Parsons last month: “We’ve had to work hard on moderation,” he said, mentioning an incident last year in which someone digitized “a lake in the shape of an Android pissing on an Apple logo.”) The update will be rolling out on both Android and iOS. RR