The days of people making joke edits to Google Maps are now over. Well, sort of. Google has announced that they will be “retiring” their Map Maker tool by early next year. Instead, editing tools and features will be directly brought to Google Maps, although how exactly that will work is still not that clearly defined as of yet. The official reason for this change is to “make it easier for all Google Maps users to contribute changes to the map while at home or on the go”, they may have just gotten tired of moderating joke edits and vandalism.
The Map Maker tool, launched back in 2008, was originally created to help communities edit and moderate what is seen in the places around them. But of course we can’t have nice things and people started using it either to make statements about certain places or worse, just to make vulgar jokes at the expense of the community. There have been times when Google had to shut down the tool for weeks just to be able to iron out the kinks in those stupid edits and probably, they’ve had enough.
Some of the editing features, like adding places, editing info, sharing details about the places, moderating edits, will be shifted to Google Maps directly, but they did not specify the process in which to do so and how different it is from Map Maker. Maybe they will announce in the following weeks or so. They’re also encouraging those who have the inclination to help out in mapping and localizing to join the Local Guides program, which gives points and unlocks rewards when you give useful information pertaining to places in the area.
Google says they will be continuously adding new editing features to Google Maps. Meanwhile, the Map Editor tool will be available only until March 2017.