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Google Crowd-Sources Maps

CmdrTaco posted about 3 years ago | from the i'm-adding-moats dept.

Google 151

Wamoc writes "Google has invited 'citizen cartographers' to refine the US map for Google Maps and Google Earth. 'Today we're opening the map of the United States in Google Map Maker for you to add your expert local knowledge directly. You know your neighborhood or hometown best, and with Google Map Maker you can ensure the places you care about are richly represented on the map. For example, you can fix the name of your local pizza parlor, or add a description of your favorite book store.'"

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151 comments

This sounds familiar... (5, Informative)

Haedrian (1676506) | about 3 years ago | (#35869830)

Re:This sounds familiar... (2, Insightful)

vossman77 (300689) | about 3 years ago | (#35869862)

Sounds like Google is starting to fear the progress made my open street maps... http://www.openstreetmap.org/ [openstreetmap.org]

Re:This sounds familiar... (2)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | about 3 years ago | (#35870850)

Why is this marked flamebait ? It could be true, I've noticed a lot of the free or cheap iPhone apps use Openstreetmaps' maps. It creates a base of people that benefit from making the maps ever more accurate. That has got to scare Google: maps is one of the levers they use, along with gmail, to differentiate their mobile platform from other platforms (and unlicensed Android versions)

Re:This sounds familiar... (0)

doom (14564) | about 3 years ago | (#35872010)

Moderators: this is not flamebait. It's a pretty obvious comment: google is playing "me-too" with openstreetmap.org.

Re:This sounds familiar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35870056)

And this raises the question, why would I want to help a proprietary map that will then be owned by Google, instead of helping the map that belongs to all of us? What we should do is contribute more to the OpenStreetMap project instead of Google Maps.

Google is the 800 lb gorilla ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 3 years ago | (#35870364)

... why would I want to help a proprietary map that will then be owned by Google, instead of helping the map [OpenStreetMap project] that belongs to all of us? ...

Because Google is the 800 lb gorilla with money and brand name recognition. People know and trust it, its motto is do no evil, why are you worried?

Re:This sounds familiar... (1)

Shompol (1690084) | about 3 years ago | (#35870646)

True, they blocked the Linux GPS software from using their maps, rendering my netbook with GPS unit useless. I can use OpenStreetMap, but that thing is not mature.

Re:This sounds familiar... (1)

xaxa (988988) | about 3 years ago | (#35872060)

True, they blocked the Linux GPS software from using their maps, rendering my netbook with GPS unit useless. I can use OpenStreetMap, but that thing is not mature.

That depends where you live. Here in London OSM is generally better than Google Maps -- OSM includes many more footpaths, a better view of railway lines, bus stops, and often more shops.

Re:This sounds familiar... (4, Insightful)

Teancum (67324) | about 3 years ago | (#35870730)

Sounds like all of the fun that Gracenote [wikipedia.org] did with the CDDB several years ago. A very much for-profit company who collected a ton of information from volunteers and then turned it into a for-profit business that screwed over the volunteers who couldn't even access the database for their own contributions without paying a licensing fee.

I like Open Street Map, and that was my first thought when I heard that Google was letting volunteer contributions in. Google has in fact been a real pain in the behind to that project and does view it as the "competition".

Re:This sounds familiar... (2)

Capt. Skinny (969540) | about 3 years ago | (#35870758)

Because Google Maps needs less work. It's easier to get people to make small corrections to an already mature system than it is to get people to make fundamental contributions to something that doesn't meet their needs yet.

Re:This sounds familiar... (4, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | about 3 years ago | (#35870860)

Depends where you are. For some places in Europe, OSM is vastly more complete than Google, showing post boxes and rubbish bins. I'm about to leave for Tajikistan, and I see that there's very little detail there, but for how many users is that a problem?

Re:This sounds familiar... (1, Troll)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about 3 years ago | (#35871252)

Because OSM and OSM based products suck. I wish they didn't, and I'd love to use them, but they're pretty much useless for anything real-world - at least here in Germany.

I've tried a bunch of OSM based Android apps for both general mapping and navigation, and the maps just aren't up to par... crowdsourcing is great and all, but it's just not complete or detailed enough.

Now adding to or correcting Google's maps... that I could see working...

Re:This sounds familiar... (1)

killmenow (184444) | about 3 years ago | (#35872040)

I don't know why YOU would want to help make/improve a proprietary map that will owned by Google. But I know why Anonymous would: penis jokes.

This will happen.

Google is Today's Tom Sawyer (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | about 3 years ago | (#35870436)

(apologies to Rush...)

"Hey y'all, don't you wish you could be white washing this here picket fence? I gotta great job, betcha you wish you could be spending the afternoon white washing this here fence, you suckers..."

Seriously, Sergei (and you, too, Arianna. Especially You!) people work for you, you pay them. This Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney "Hey, kids, let's put on a show in my grandma's barn, we can call it 'User Generated Content!'" shit has gone about as far as it can and should go.

Re:Google is Today's Tom Sawyer (3, Insightful)

Gr33nJ3ll0 (1367543) | about 3 years ago | (#35870666)

Or maybe "Geez it would be nice to be able to spent 15 sec fixing that road segment that always results in google maps routing me around, which wastes 10 minutes of my day" Having worked with city and county mapping services there are a lot of little mistakes on maps that a simple tweak could easily fix. OTOH, if you don't want to, don't do it.

Re:Google is Today's Tom Sawyer (2)

Synon (847155) | about 3 years ago | (#35870946)

You're just upset because your parents never got you a sandbox when you were a kid, I understand. User generated content can and will go much much further. A simple project like "Accurately label every location of interest in the US" is a big much, even for google. And people benefit from such a map, so why wouldn't they spend a couple minutes to make a correction to their favorite businesses?

Has everyone forgotten CDDB? (5, Insightful)

awilden (110846) | about 3 years ago | (#35870496)

OpenStreetMaps is a classic grass-roots effort. People have sweat blood making OSM work, proving the "business" model, working out the kinks, and donating immeasurable time towards making this a success. Now that somebody has done the dirty work to prove that this method of crowd-sourcing maps can work, Google trots out its sexy service that will grab the buzz, divert the resources, advertise interest away and steal the user cycles towards improving its own closed proprietary maps. Yes, that's correct, proprietary -- there's no guarantee that what you do will remain freely available.

Has everyone forgotten the CDDB debacle? Quoting wiki [wikipedia.org] : "The original software behind CDDB was released under the GNU General Public License, and many people submitted CD information thinking the service would also remain free." Those of you who remember will recognize what an understatement that is. Needless to say, those users were wrong and one day they found that all their effort was suddenly swallowed up and they were being asked to pay for access to the data they submitted.

I don't believe Google is evil and I don't work with OSM, but if Google is not evil it has to realize the negative impacts its actions can have on the kinds of grassroots open-source efforts it claims to support. Google is not stepping in to use its resources to do what the crowd cannot -- it will end up undercutting a project where the crowd was doing just fine on its own. And the ordinary Joes need to realize what is going on and channel their efforts to the project where they will own the product. OpenStreetMap.

Re:Has everyone forgotten CDDB? (1)

bennomatic (691188) | about 3 years ago | (#35872024)

I don't believe Google is evil and I don't work with OSM, but if Google is not evil it has to realize the negative impacts its actions can have on the kinds of grassroots open-source efforts it claims to support.

I once interviewed for a job at Google. Made it through 13 rounds. During interview #14, I was pontificating on the "don't be evil" mantra and suggested that, even without evil intent, the reverberating effects of radical changes in technology shouldn't be ignored. I said something along the lines that I'm sure that Google could come up with a way to offer absolutely free web hosting--no Geocities-esque banners or anything--and absolutely kill hundreds or thousands of small service vendors overnight.

The interviewer's words were, "That's an interesting insight." But the look on his face was, "And how is it our problem that these other vendors can't keep up?"

And they never called back after that.

Re:This sounds familiar... (2)

moonbender (547943) | about 3 years ago | (#35870584)

Is there anything preventing Google from using the OSM data itself in Google Maps? It used to be licensed CC-BY-SA, so it would be perfectly fine to embed it into Google Maps with correct attribution, in a similar fashion as the Wikipedia data. OSM is in a process of relicensing now, but I'd imagine the same would work with ODbL, too.

The OSM data for my area is very detailed, including building outlines, landmarks, park benches, and dog poop dispensers (no kidding). Shame Google didn't opt for interoperability, could have been good for both Google and OSM -- maybe that's why they didn't do it. Or maybe they genuinely think they can do a better job. And maybe the OSM community is glad to be left alone. The official OSM map website sure could use some interface magic and a faster delivery network, though. The data is all there -- much more than is even visible in the default view -- but it's too hard and too slow to get there.

Re:This sounds familiar... (2)

Teancum (67324) | about 3 years ago | (#35871090)

Is there anything preventing Google from using the OSM data itself in Google Maps?

The OSM data license is an open-source license that would require Google to reciprocate and allow its map data to be used by the OSM project.... something that Google most definitely doesn't want to have happen. This is something where they can't have their cake and eat it too. If they displayed the OSM data as a "separate view" being a "community contribution view" that could in turn be put into the OSM database, sure.... they could do that.

The issue really is over how users can reuse the licensed data. Google holds all of their data as completely proprietary and has even gone on record as willing to prosecute those who blatantly copy data from Google. A common mapmaker technique is to deliberately introduce errors into their maps (such as misnaming a certain street or adding in small details such as a non-existent park) where copying that data can be used as evidence of copyright infringement. If the map was generated from actually being there or knowing the local geography, such details won't be copied as they don't exist. There are such errors in the OSM data too (mostly accidental and can be corrected, but they are there) so this can go both ways.

Re:This sounds familiar... (1)

richlv (778496) | about 3 years ago | (#35871700)

as for the "map maker", i guess the issue is that google would like to get the edits of their users and not give them to anybody else, including the contributors themselves ;)

the deliberate errors in maps, commonly known as copyright easter eggs, is a somewhat interesting topic with some history as well : http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Copyright_Easter_Eggs [openstreetmap.org]

Re:This sounds familiar... (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about 3 years ago | (#35871756)

The OSM data license is an open-source license that would require Google to reciprocate and allow its map data to be used by the OSM project.... something that Google most definitely doesn't want to have happen.

Actualy, as I understand it, Google buys a lot of their mapping info from, well, companies that specialize in mapping, as well as business info (for POI)... so it's probably not something they're even allowed to open source, in many cases...

Re:This sounds familiar... (1)

the_other_chewey (1119125) | about 3 years ago | (#35871098)

he OSM data for my area is very detailed, including building outlines, landmarks, park benches, and dog poop dispensers (no kidding).

Ewwwwwww...

Re:This sounds familiar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35871450)

OSM is licensed with a share-alike licence, so if anyone mixes it with their data they would be forced to release their data as share-alike too. Google's motivation for having a map is a place to hang advertising on, which is where their money comes from. OSM's motivation is varied, but it leads to far, far more detail than Google needs. Google has already, mistakenly, used OSM data in their map data in the past. When it was pointed out they quickly reacted, removed the OSM data from their maps and apologised.

Re:This sounds familiar... (1)

swillden (191260) | about 3 years ago | (#35871500)

dog poop dispensers

You mean dogs? OSM must achieve a very high update rate to track all of them.

Re:This sounds familiar... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35870994)

And with openstreetmap you do not give your work to someone who will make money with it without giving you anything...

Re:This sounds familiar... (3)

richlv (778496) | about 3 years ago | (#35871542)

very. hopefully people will discover osm and "upgrade" from google - with osm, you can get entire dataset and do nearly anything with it.

several other mapping companies are contributing to osm - http://open.mapquest.com/ [mapquest.com] , even http://www.bing.com/community/site_blogs/b/maps/archive/2010/08/02/bing-maps-adds-open-street-maps-layer.aspx [bing.com] (although the link in the latter seems to be broken right now :) )

you can find other interesting uses of osm data here : http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/List_of_OSM_based_Services [openstreetmap.org]

of course, there's always the fact that "map maker" was available in multiple other countries before "opening" it for usa. which means others have had a chance to ask "why do this if there's osm" already ;) http://www.openstreetmap.org/user/Kompa/diary/10047 [openstreetmap.org]

so i would like to invite everybody to join http://osm.org/ [osm.org] :)

What other info? (3, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | about 3 years ago | (#35869852)

Address and ratings for all the girls that put out? Sure, there is no way this can be abused...

Re:What other info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35869956)

Right.. that is why we can find out the addresses of all the camwhores on wikipedia right? Oh wai..

Re:What other info? (2)

Moraelin (679338) | about 3 years ago | (#35870402)

Right.. that is why we can find out the addresses of all the camwhores on wikipedia right? Oh wai..

I hope you also realize that Wikipedia is full of vandalisms. (E.g., I learned from there that iron is extracted from monkeys, the bridges of ancient Rome were manufactured in Japan, or that didgeridoos are cloned in test tubes. The last one actually had a whole page on the German Wikipedia for more than a year.) It's also full of idiots thinking that they're actually doing a favour to the world by changing stuff to something funny... only to themselves. It's full of half-baked mis-information, vanity edits of one's own pages or panning someone you don't like, edit wars that are won by the most persistent instead of the most informed, and occasional acts of personal vengeance. Like the recent case that was even on Slashdot, where some idiot who got panned way back on the Old Man Murray site, getting the page removed from Wiki. Or that for some people or events, the pages actually have to be locked, to stop the flood of crap edits.

Frankly, the only reason why you don't have high school kids editing an ex-GF's wikipedia page to say "SHE'S A SLUT!!!" is because she doesn't have a page on Wikipedia.

It's not only a Wiki problem. See Amazon reviews, and again a recent thread even on Slashdot where we even had lemmings defending their drivel flood as some great act of comedy. Never mind that they're not particularly funny, and not particularly helpful to have to wade through hundreds of such imaginary crap for a product to find an actual review. And again, praising one's own book or panning someone without even reading, actually do happen all the time. Or fanboy reviews hyping or panning something long before it's actually even available, but they already somehow know it will rule or suck.

But generally, humans are humans for as long as we have a written history. Just about anywhere there even was a public board (of the actual wooden kind) or some statue, people have pinned anonymous or pseudepigraphic libel about people they don't like. See the talking statues of Rome in the 16'th century for example.

So, yes, I do expect it to happen lots if every single house on Google can get such notes attached. The kind of people who only weren't defacing an ex-GF's/ex-BF's Wikipedia entry because she had none, now will be able to add exactly such notes to her/his house. And I expect a lot of them to do just that.

Re:What other info? (1)

bunratty (545641) | about 3 years ago | (#35870518)

I added loose women's houses, geohashing locations I visited, places where I've slept, the trees I admire most, and tons of sidewalk graffiti sites, but those damn dirty deletionists removed them all! How can it be useful if they remove such critical information?

Re:What other info? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35870672)

Address and ratings for all the girls that put out?

Your mom will be added first, then, right?

Re:What other info? (1)

strength_of_10_men (967050) | about 3 years ago | (#35870920)

Not to kill your great idea and all though. From the linked Google Blog:

To confirm Map Maker user contributions are accurate, each edit will be reviewed. After approval, the edits will appear in Google Maps...

There's still OpenStreetMaps for to try that on...

Re:What other info? (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about 3 years ago | (#35871818)

"To confirm Map Maker user contributions are accurate, each edit will be reviewed. After approval, the edits will appear in Google Maps within minutes..."

From the Google Blog entry...

please (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35869882)

help us make money with free labor

So (1)

justmike2000 (2023602) | about 3 years ago | (#35869884)

So "Joe's Pizza" can now be changed to "Joe's Awful Pizza"?

Stephen Colbert is Probably Already Working On It! (1)

billstewart (78916) | about 3 years ago | (#35870546)

Let's see, where would you find elephants [wikipedia.org] on the map? Oh, right, Google says they're located at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, 20006, and the population of them has tripled in the last few years since Barnum and Bailey came to town.

It's easy enough to confirm - just look at all the geotagged photos on Flickr and Google that show circus tents and elephants out front.

Re:So (1)

md65536 (670240) | about 3 years ago | (#35870640)

So "Joe's Pizza" can now be changed to "Joe's Awful Pizza"?

That's possible but highly unlikely.

More likely, "Joe's Pizza" will now be changed to "PENUS PENUS PENUS PENUS PENUS PENUS PENUS PENUS".
I didn't RTFA but will google be able to handle vandalization and misinformation? Will it be similar to wikipedia?

Re:So (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about 3 years ago | (#35871782)

Probably not, but you can finally say, "Hey Google, Joe's Pizza closed up shop a year ago, there's a pet store in there now!". That's something I've been missing sorely around here in Germany... hope we're able to do this soon.

Former President-VICE Richard B. Cheney's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35870002)

spider-hole is here [youtube.com] .

Cheers.

Yours in Chelyabinsk,
Kilgore Trout

Oh, goody! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35870016)

I just can't wait to work for free for all of Google's shareholders!

Finally? (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | about 3 years ago | (#35870076)

After submitting that they have my street name wrong and the next one over with it's label, and another one missing, years ago, I can just do it myself? This, this is just epic genius! I mean, that thought never went though my mind. Completely unobvious.

Re:Finally? (2)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | about 3 years ago | (#35870254)

My street is one way, but Google Maps displays it one way in the wrong direction. I've submitted a report oh, about five years ago, and still no change. I'm looking forward to opening this up for Hungary as well, so I can make that goddamn change, since it breaks all routes planned by Maps.

Re:Finally? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35870630)

Well, all routes that require somebody to go down your street, at least.

Re:Finally? (2)

oakgrove (845019) | about 3 years ago | (#35870376)

After submitting that they have my street name wrong and the next one over with it's label, and another one missing, years ago,

That's strange. I submitted a correction for two streets where I live that had the names mixed up and about a month later, they sent me an email thanking me and the switch was made. OSM had the same error (must have came from the Tiger data) and I just fixed it myself. Not sure why your change wasn't made to GM.

Re:Finally? (1)

Cwix (1671282) | about 3 years ago | (#35870810)

I emailed them with a pdf map of all the bike routes in my city, and they had the map updated a few months later with a nice email thanking me. Yea a few months isnt great turnaround but the fact that they have a much more complete map of the bike trails was a big plus to me.

Re:Finally? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 3 years ago | (#35870420)

I'm with you. This should have been done years ago. Sometimes I can't sleep at night, knowing that something or someone is wrong or incorrect on the Internet.

Re:Finally? (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | about 3 years ago | (#35870502)

If you only knew how many people pulled onto the wrong street since it is hard to see form the road, you'd understand why I would at least like maps to be correct.

Re:Finally? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35870982)

It may also have to do with the significance of the impact of the change. You don't like accidental tourists coming down your street.

I, on the other hand, submitted a change because they had the Exchange Place light rail station in Jersey City, NJ clear on the other side of the city from its actual location. I submitted an error report, backed it up with a street view URL that proved to them where the station was actually located, and explained to them that since they have both NJ Transit's Light Rail and the Port Authority's PATH schedules loaded into their transit system, they were doing eco-minded travelers a disservice by falsely convincing people to not take the light rail to the PATH train. They quickly realized the significance of that error and moved the icon for the light rail station to its rightful location half a block away from the PATH station stop of the same name.

That being said, I can't get them to move the icons for the multiple train lines servicing Trenton Transit Center in NJ any closer together -- and yes, I understand that's really the agencies' fault, not theirs, but they should at least try. I also can't get them to change the fact that their algorithm seems to think it only takes 6 minutes to cross the street from the SEPTA 127 bus when catching a NJ Transit train but **33** minutes to cross the same street from the same bus into the same train station when catching an Amtrak train. Add to that the 30 minute lead time that Amtrak builds into the schedule planning and you have a complete and utter disaster when trying to plan a trip from Bucks County, PA to Manhattan using only mass transit. Add to THAT the fact that Amtrak trains will almost always blow away NJ Transit trains in terms of ride times from Trenton to NY, and you'll quickly see that trip planning with Google Maps from Bucks County to New York City has been pretty much gutted for a while now. Its fixable. It just sucks pretty bad right now.

I guess they do have a weird way of determining what qualifies as an "important" fix.

Re:Finally? (1)

Americano (920576) | about 3 years ago | (#35871092)

Saving a handful of people the trouble of a u-turn or a three-point turn when they realize they made a wrong turn? This is truly god's work, friend.

It's often overlooked in favor of high-profile "causes" like "feeding and clothing the poor" and "providing quality medical care to people who've never had it" and (it's okay to roll your eyes) "childhood education." But it's just as important - perhaps even MORE important, in fact!

Did you know: In the last days of her life, Mother Teresa was overheard to remark, "If only I hadn't wasted my time in India, I could have donated time to something truly worthy, like OpenStreetMaps." You can look it up, I bet Wikipedia will back me up on this. If not, there's some sort of equally truthy information about her somewhere in her Wikipedia entry, you can bet on it.

The crowdsourcing phenomenon has taught me that fifty million Elvis fans really CAN'T be wrong.

Re:Finally? (1)

gknoy (899301) | about 3 years ago | (#35871638)

Helping people avoid wrong turns reduces traffic on the streets that were incorrectly referred, which has potential to increase pedestrian safety (as there are less cars traveling). It saves drivers time and frustration. It seems like it's a universally good thing - why do you ridicule it? Do you also ridicule people that pick up litter, or volunteer as crossing guards?

The guy isn't making a crusade of it, he just wants less people to (mistakenly) turn onto his street. Seems pretty understandable. As a driver, I'd prefer not to get sent down his street (or anyone else's) by mistake either.

Re:Finally? (1)

cusco (717999) | about 3 years ago | (#35870632)

After submitting that they have my street name wrong and the next one over with it's label, and another one missing, years ago, I can just do it myself? This, this is just epic genius! I mean, that thought never went though my mind. Completely unobvious.

I just wish that we could fix bad labels on Google Earth. I've sent a couple of emails telling them that they've misspelled Paruro, Peru, and that the locations of a couple of nearby villages are wrong, but neither is fixed yet.

Hope Google will implement a decent offline map (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 3 years ago | (#35870262)

All that talk about not being evil is all fine and dandy. But how come Android does not have a decent off line map application? They say Google maps works fine in iPad/iPhone. But in Android, if you don't have a data plan, it simply does not work [*]

GPS is free. In fact first few phones with GPS were totally offline operations with the maps cached locally not forcing a data plan. But pretty quickly the carriers and hand set makers colluded to make it non workable and they all peddle dataplans at various levels. That Google is also aiding and abetting these nickel and diming makes me mad. Mind you, I have been as anti-Microsoft and as fanboi-yi Google as anyone in slashdot. I am not really looking for turn by turn navigation etc. Simply get directions while on WiFi, cache all the intervening map tiles, fuel stops, restaurants, hotels along the way. Just locate me on the map with GPS. That is all I ask for. But you can't get it in Android without a data plan. Some app called MapDroyd is rated to be the best for offline GPS on Android. It does not work well.

So people contributing to crowd sourced maps should demand that Google release a decent working version of offline google maps for Android, on par with iOS versions.

[*] Yes, there are many reasons to have an Android phone without a data plan. WiFi calling helps you avoid international roaming charges. WiFi connection painlessly syncs your calender, to do list and contacts with gmail. Android forces the handset makers to use standard USB chargers. You can get a low end Android with these benefits for about the same price as a well equipped non smart phone. Of course, high end Android might not make sense without a data plan.

Buy a Garman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35870462)

That's why I bought a Garman. Lot's cheaper and faster than streaming maps. (Hint! It also works where there is no cell service.) Doesn't interfer with using your phone either if you wish to make a phone call. Dah.

Re:Buy a Garman (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35870724)

Well, the up-side of buying a German is - they're always right.

It does (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 3 years ago | (#35870540)

All that talk about not being evil is all fine and dandy. But how come Android does not have a decent off line map application?

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Android has several, including osmand.

As for your complaints about Google Maps not having an offline mode and whining about a cabal between Google and the carriers - on Android, it caches map data which is now vector-based, not prerendered tiles. They were waiting for device processors speeds and 3D abilities to become suitable. If you travel in the same area again, data from the cache is used. You can scroll around an area you intend to travel, too, to preload the data.

Newsflash: carriers, like power, gas, and water companies - are most interested in conservation, because it means more customers on the same infrastructure.

Re:Hope Google will implement a decent offline map (1)

AJH16 (940784) | about 3 years ago | (#35870784)

There are offline packages you can get for Android. Unfortunately I can only confirm they exist. I had looked in to them some but never found a free one and I have a data plan so I didn't care to pay for the ability to use it offline. I thought one of the big companies made an Android based app that is even available on the market place.

Re:Hope Google will implement a decent offline map (1)

xaxa (988988) | about 3 years ago | (#35872244)

I use MapDroyd all the time. It's not perfect, but it uses a fraction of the power (battery) used by Google Maps, and I can look at it on the Underground (no signal) before I get above-ground, or use it abroad (no signal because of roaming). It also enabled me to get back to the hotel when I took the wrong night bus in Slovakia.

http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/MapDroyd [openstreetmap.org]

Of course, to be any use you need to have decent OSM data. Fortunately, most European towns I've been to do (some are better than Google etc).

Re:Hope Google will implement a decent offline map (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35870856)

> But how come Android does not have a decent off line map application? That is all I ask for.

One reason: because you, and millions of others like you, supported this with your dollars/euros/yen/rubles/pesos. You bought the very thing you are now complaining about.

I bought a more open phone than Android or iOS, and it has an offline mapping app that does exactly what you ask for. I can download and cache tiles when i'm on my home 802.11, and use it offline later. I have a large region around my house (about 250x160km) cached at moderate resolution, and the places I'm likely to travel at higher resolution. SD cards offer cheap storage for this data.

But we must live with artificial restrictions and loss of consumer control over our own devices because of people like you who give money to support that loss of control. Thanks a lot for that.

Re:Hope Google will implement a decent offline map (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 3 years ago | (#35871452)

But how come Android does not have a decent off line map application?

Maybe you should have bought a Nokia instead. Their Ovi Maps application works entirely offline, can be updated through USB, and is free to boot.

Pity the rest of their software sucks, but at least the maps are good.

Re:Hope Google will implement a decent offline map (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35872294)

Try Navit [navit-project.org] .

Say goodbye to favorite places ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about 3 years ago | (#35870280)

There is both a good and a bad side to this. Ignoring the wikipedia type abuse that will occur it will probably be a net good, however say goodbye to favorite places that only locals or a few know about. Someone will put it on Google.

Ever discover a good side road that works to get around traffic? A friend and I who carpooled found one. One day a radio station started a segment where people could call in with traffic tips. Someone glowing described this wonderful detour. The next day it was as stalled and backed up as the highway. Years later I went that way again, still as screwed up. I suspect this sort of thing to happen with various other kind of favorite spots.

On the "plus side" parents will probably easily find out where the kids hang out, party, etc.

Re:Say goodbye to favorite places ... (2)

vlm (69642) | about 3 years ago | (#35870396)

Ever discover a good side road that works to get around traffic? A friend and I who carpooled found one. One day a radio station started a segment where people could call in with traffic tips. Someone glowing described this wonderful detour. The next day it was as stalled and backed up as the highway. Years later I went that way again, still as screwed up. I suspect this sort of thing to happen with various other kind of favorite spots.

Works both ways. There is a truly major interstate highway project in my area, biggest in a couple decades, maybe the biggest project since the interstate was built decades ago. The conventional wisdom is the interstate will therefore be a parking lot during rush hour, so take any possible non-interstate route home, avoid the interstate at all costs, its the inter-apocalypse, etc. The actual result is the interstate is a ghost town and I get home about 5 to 10 minutes earlier than normal now, even though the road is all screwed up.

You should call in to the same radio show crying about how the alt route is a clogged dirt road to nowhere, until no one uses it anymore.

The sheep will follow their orders...

Thanks but not interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35870286)

Terms of service for the submissions:

By submitting User Submissions to the Service, you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display, distribute, and create derivative works of the User Submission.

Yet I can't use Google maps or the maps API for most things I'd like to use them for (basically saving anything locally is forbidden and the API use is forbidden for everything except showing things on Google Maps).

TL;DR: Thanks but I'll stick with Openstreetmap.

donate your time for free to make $ for others... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35870312)

Or, you could donate it to http://www.openstreetmap.org/ instead.

For teh lulz (0)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 3 years ago | (#35870404)

Can't wait to see what the 4chan / Anon crowds dream up.

Re:For teh lulz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35870586)

This will sure make them a lot more dangerous, if they can simply label your house as "Pedophile lives here!!11!" and some vigilantes of sub-average intelligence read it.

Re:For teh lulz (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about 3 years ago | (#35870620)

It does this old man some good to see 4chan and the phrase " vigilantes of sub-average intelligence" used in the same discussion thread.

Or (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35870478)

you can give the CIA owned Google the exact name of every person at every known location on a map so the CIA can fuck you in the ass like good little sheeple.

Re:Or (-1, Offtopic)

Americano (920576) | about 3 years ago | (#35871186)

Oh you're so terribly clever. I bet sheeple refuse to put up with you for very long because of your rapier-sharp wit, and not at all because you're an obnoxious boor.

take, take and more take. where's the give? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35870564)

Google: So I use my own time and effort and contribute to the quality of your map data. What do I get out of it? Do I get freely usable map data?

Ahhhh. I didn't think so.

I'll keep contributing to openstreemap.org thanks. Now if only there was quality navigation software (for Android) with quality POI data to go with it.

Didn't they always? (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#35870580)

Google Maps has had a "report a problem" link for years.

Not that it ever did a lick of good. But it was there.

Re:Didn't they always? (1)

Kelbear (870538) | about 3 years ago | (#35871136)

I've used it 3 times and was contacted within 2 days (not automated, it was from a person). Correction made within 1-2 weeks.

1) Misspelling of my street name in google maps resulted in it being impossible to search for
2) Streetview pointing at a "highway" that was actually just forest (the exit was a few hundred feet back)
3) Fixing street name at a new address.

Re:Didn't they always? (1)

ebs16 (1069862) | about 3 years ago | (#35871416)

For a while, there was a "Report Error" link in Google Maps Navigation for Android that allowed you to submit a 15-second audio message describing the error. I submitted a few in the NYC-metro area and received emails a few months later letting me know that I was right and that my changes were committed to the map.

I'm not sure if Android-nav submissions are processed separately from the Google Maps browser client, but there are people on the other end for at lease some of their user correction features.

Re:Didn't they always? (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 3 years ago | (#35871620)

I never got any result. It will still route you through an underpass that was never built (it's just an old road dead-ending into the berm they built for the interstate) and through a locked gate to private land that's shown as a through-road. Not a good deal, since in both cases you have to backtrack significantly (7 miles in the latter case) to get to a usable route.

Didn't Google try this once already? (2)

Animats (122034) | about 3 years ago | (#35870592)

Didn't Google have a thing about two years ago where people could photograph storefronts, send them in to Google, and get paid?

They have a "submit your content" [google.com] thing now, but of course Google doesn't actually pay for the content.

So I can finally fix the Mall of America? (1)

d'fim (132296) | about 3 years ago | (#35870712)

The Holiday "station-store" at the Mall of America doesn't actually have gasoline, and I'm tired of it showing up when I'm searching for gas stations.

Does this mean I can actually fix it with some faint hope that the fix will actually stay fixed?

Re:So I can finally fix the Mall of America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35871106)

Yes.

Re:So I can finally fix the Mall of America? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35871780)

Yes -- for sufficiently small values of "faint".

FTFY

Been like this for a while. (1)

_0xd0ad (1974778) | about 3 years ago | (#35871064)

A while back I added the hours for a business near where I live (their schedule is a little bit odd - they're only open Wednesday-Saturday). And you've always been able to report a problem with the map, as long as I can remember (although I don't think in some countries it allows that).

nobombism catching on in southern hillary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35871070)

the newly appointed spiritual leader of the southern hillarians, genuine native american elder, ralph, suggests that those still living above the surface also investigate improved leadership soon, as the hackers have reported that the chosen neogods are continuing to fire all of their guns at once &... like a true nature's child, ralph was born not to be wild.. he also suggests reading the teepeeleaks etchings, where real history & the truth make god, & some of our early 'explorers' look truly merciless. & it's (genocide) happened before & since, behaviors the natives don't even have words for in their language yet. reality sucks.. the wind out of seemingly endless fatal deception. disarm

Work for Google for free (2)

Sloppy (14984) | about 3 years ago | (#35871172)

Sure, you don't get paid, but at least you get the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that comes from seeing someone else's stock price rise.

Ok, so you won't be allowed to directly query the data yourself after you give it to them, but at least you'll know that it might come up on your page, along with their ads, if you embed their javascript.

Could use some work (1)

afidel (530433) | about 3 years ago | (#35871188)

We have 3 building on our HQ campus, I went in to outline each building and tag it with the appropriate address to make it easier for people to find the correct building when they visit the campus. There's no apparent way to do that as you have to specify a type of business when you select the drawing tool and none of the categories fit.

New for USA (1)

Av8rjoker (1212804) | about 3 years ago | (#35871920)

Map Maker has been around for years and has been active in over 180 countries since then. It just finally opened up to the USA.

Pretty much certain (2)

argStyopa (232550) | about 3 years ago | (#35872074)

Damn right I know my neighborhood better.

Yes, google maps. I am certain that my ex girlfriend lives on Whore Avenue.

And my boss does happen to live on Penis Street.

Been done for years now... Wikimapia (1)

markana (152984) | about 3 years ago | (#35872112)

Exactly how is this different from Wikimapia (http://wikimapia.org)? That's a community-driven map-places-editing site that's been active for several years now...

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