Google has announced plans to retire its standalone Map Maker product in March 2017, at which time the product’s features will be integrated into Google Maps.
Google Map Maker is an online tool that has been around since 2008, which gives anyone the ability to provide information to Google Maps. Moderators would then either approve or deny the suggested contributions.
One of the goals of the forthcoming update is said to be to allow the company to better focus on the editing and moderation experience within Google Maps. With Google retiring the Map Maker product and migrating the features to Maps, it will allow suggested edits to all come through a single channel.
In fact, Google is wasting no time when it comes to streamlining and speeding up the editorial process. A change beginning today will see edits made on Google Maps no longer being available for moderation on Map Maker. “This will allow us to streamline our efforts, speeding up the time for an edit to get published,” the company says.
Google notes that crowdsourced contributions can continue to be made through the Local Guides program. Being a Local Guide allows Google users to earn points through completing objectives like reviewing a location, adding photos of location, and so on.
Google Map Maker is a more robust tool than Local Guides, with the ability to go so far as to edit roads, for example. In March 2017 we can expect the unique feature set offered by both Local Guides and Map Maker to be merged into Google Maps.
This makes a whole lot of sense from both a user standpoint, and a company standpoint. It’s a better experience for users to have all of these features accessible to them in one application. From a company standpoint, it could lead to increased use of the features being migrated over to Google Maps.
In addition, with those features being available on another application, it makes sense to retire Map Maker at that time.