Google is aiming to reopen its Map Maker editing service and will be seeking volunteers to become Regional Lead candidates to moderate edits.
The service was shut down in May after it was found to have some digital mischief and vandalism, which created quite a stir in the online community. One notable prank showed a huge Android robot peeing on an Apple logo, which led Google to close off editing rights to the public.
According to Google, Map Maker editing will have a phased reopening that will begin in early August. While a large part of the editing will depend mostly on assigned community moderators who have volunteered to do the task, some of the edits will still have to be reviewed and approved by Google staff.
"Map Maker will be reopened for editing in early August, and we're looking for users to now have more influence over the outcome of edits in their specific countries," wrote Pavithra Kanakarajan, product manager of Google Map Maker. "This means that edits on Map Maker will be increasingly made open for moderation by the community."
Google acknowledges that the new editing process may take longer than before in moderating edits. However, the company believes that a "well-intentioned" community is more reliable and faster when it comes to detecting online pranksters.
"We have come to the conclusion that of all the defenses available to keeping our maps clean, the interest of a community of well-intentioned users, is among the most reliable and fast," said Google.
With the new editing system, Google will be assigning community moderators or Regional Lead candidates coming from various parts of the globe. Edits that are made in the Regional Lead's assigned region will be reviewed both by the Lead candidates and Google's automated moderation systems. Google staff will moderate the edits only on an occasional basis.
Kanakarajan added that Google will be sending invitations to individuals whom they believe are qualified to become Regional Lead candidates.
"An invitation will be sent to qualified Regional Lead candidates to apply for the role," said Kanakarajan. "We will review and get back to the selected candidates before Map Maker is reopened."
Photo: Benjamin Dobson | Flickr