Google has announced a major change to its mapping service in the UK, switching to home-produced maps from the outsourced materials it has previously used.
In an apparent effort to reduce expenditure and minimise its reliance on outside companies, Google has switched mapping data in the UK, Germany, Finland and Sweden to a Google-produced platform. It's a major move for the company, which has previously used data from specialist mapping companies such as TeleAtlas.
"You may notice many improvements to Google Maps in these countries, such as improved water bodies and more comprehensive local park coverage. Many of these and other changes are the result of us working directly with a variety of organisations, agencies and data providers," explained Google's Valient Gough of the changes.
"For example, Germany's Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy (Bundesamt für Kartographie und Geodäsie) supplied us harmonized data from surveying and mapping agencies of all 16 federal states (Länder). And in the case of Finland, we acquired water body data directly from the National Land Survey. We're thankful to these and other data providers for helping us ensure that our digital maps accurately reflect real life."
To help iron out inevitable kinks in the mapping data, Google is pushing its 'Report a Problem' tool for the aforementioned countries. This will now appear in the lower-right corner of Google Maps, and allows users to report errors or omissions to the company for correction.
A video detailing how to use the 'Report a Problem' tool is reproduced below, while the new maps are live on Google Maps now.