Google Asks For Mapping Help, Launches Improved Map Maker

Google has announced a new feature to allow the community to help improve the maps used for Google Maps, Google Navigation and Google Earth: Google Map Maker.

Although previously available in a basic form, the new Google Map Maker adds significant improvements to the crowdsourced mapping system.

"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," explains Google's Kaushik Sridharan.

"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."

The move comes as Google switches from third-party map sources from the likes of TeleAtlas to homebrew mapping on which it doesn't have to pay a licensing fee. While the self-made maps are cheaper, some errors are inevitable - hence the improvements to Google Map Maker.

A video demonstrating the new Map Maker features is reproduced below.