Google Maps Now Verifying Suggestions Through Other Users

When it comes apps that many of use without really giving it much thought, Google Maps will be right at the top of that list. What used to be a novel and useful way of printing off directions online has become one of the biggest and most popular features of Android. Of course, behind all the fancy UI elements and maps themselves is cold, hard data and while Google and businesses do much of this work themselves, they can't do everything on their own. Which is why some time ago they introduced a crowdsourcing feature to Google Maps, which allows users to make their own additions to Google Maps. These include submitting a name and location of a service building, restaurant, movie theater or whatever else. Now, Google is using the crowdsourcing model to verify these changes.

Some users have noticed a pop-up when using Google Maps to research a place asking them to verify which name or detail is correct based on suggestions sent to Google by other users. The pop-up reads "Someone suggested this change to Google. Tap one if you know it's right." which suggests that Google is looking to further utilize the crowdsourcing model to make sure their data is as correct as possible. After all, "local knowledge" is still a very powerful thing, and is the sort of thing that apps like Waze are basically built on top of. This new feature doesn't appear to be available for everyone right now though, and there's a good chance that Google is only using it in areas that aren't very tech-savvy. Emerging markets, rural areas and small towns come to mind here, and asking users that are there or planning to go there makes a lot of sense.

Google Maps itself continues to get better and better with each minor release, and now that the app has a solid UI that people know and love, it's time for them to turn to the underlying data that powers it all. Asking real people to verify what's in front of them there and then seems an obvious idea, but rolling it out to more than just trusted users is something any company should be cautious of, so we can't blame Google for dragging their feet a little with this.

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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.
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