Google announced it is letting users update Google Maps and Google Earth information in the U.S. through Google Map Maker, the crowdsourced mapping tool for publicizing neighborhood information. Google, however, won’t take input from other community map sources, such as Open Street Map or Waze.
Google’s map editing features will allow the addition of commercial data such as businesses locations and more specific street information such as temporary closures due to construction projects. You can add places as well as draw lines and shapes depicting railroads, back alleys or parking lots.
Users’ updates undergo a vetting process coordinated by previously accredited users. Moderators can approve or reject edits or send them back for a revision. Users’ participation earns them karma which counts towards acquiring the status of a moderator.
So far, Google Maps offers no support for mapping locations such as stores or businesses which are layered on top of one another. 3D features are clearly something Google cannot postpone indefinitely.
For now, Google has added street-level perspective with embedded images from Street View.
Google Map Maker is a tool real estate professionals in this country should keep a watchful eye on. You can check it out for yourself right here.