The premise of Google Maps is a fairly simple enough one to understand. If you are looking to know where somewhere is then you can 'Google Maps' it. Taking that premise a little further then you can also plan a route to the place in question by asking Maps to provide you with driving directions, or public transport options, or if you are on a Pokémon GO hunt, a walking route.
However, Maps has become so much more than its simple premise and nowadays reflects a much more encompassing knowledge tool. Much like Google Search is, which is probably one of the reasons why the two services have become so much more entwined over time. However, becoming more knowledgeable about the places around requires an extensive amount of data and sometimes more than the Google’s vast knowledge reserves can provide. This is where Google reaches out to the Maps community to help provide more details and in a new blog posting today, the Maps team have explained the many new methods they have introduced to help expand the Maps knowledge of places.
The first, is one which you are likely to have already seen active when using Maps or Search to search for a place. Along with the listing of a place the results now typically show a “suggest an edit” tab where the user can provide missing or updated information. The second measure is also one you might have seen recently and that is where you receive a notification about a place you might have visited (or searched for) and asking specific question about that place. Like for instance, does the hotel you stayed at offer Wi-Fi. The third new measure Google pointed out is a somewhat extension of the second, where users are provided with answers about a place made by another user and asked to verify if they are correct or not. This particular one is designed to speed up the process of getting place information from a pending state to a confirmed state. So for instance, if someone else noted that the hotel you stayed at offers Wi-Fi, then you might be asked to confirm whether that is correct or not.
All of these features are features that you have likely encountered when using Google Search or Maps and in particular, from a mobile device. Today’s blog posting seems to more of a general one which looks to highlight the collective effort Google has been making to engage the community in providing extended and more in depth information. As well as highlighting that you are probably more likely to see more of these notifications or questions being asked on your mobile in the future.