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Google Removes Map Maker Service

By piranha

14th May 2015

Due to vandalism on the site, Google will be removing the public contribution feature from its maps service.

The Map Maker feature allowed users to add landmarks, including green spaces, rivers, roads and local businesses.

Some people took this opportunity to vandalise the location map, with one user adding an image of the Android mascot urinating on the infamous Apple logo.

According to the search engine company, the shutdown is only a temporary measure until the service is fixed. They also want to make sure that only trusted users can contribute on the site in the future.

Pavirthra Kanakarajan, who is a member of Google’s Map Maker team, said; “We have been experiencing escalated attacks of spam Google Maps over the past few months… As a consequence, we suspended auto-approval and user moderation across the globe.”

“The most recent incident was particularly troubling and unfortunate – a strong user in our community chose to go and create a large scale prank on the map.”

“Given the current state of the system, we have come to the conclusion that it is not fair to any of our users to let them continue to spend time editing. Every edit you make is essentially going to a backlog that is growing very fast. We believe that it is fairer to say that if we do not have the capacity to review edits at roughly the rate they come in, we have to take a pause.”

The tool was introduced in 2008, in an attempt to make the map service more informative for its users. Unfortunately, some users have taken this opportunity to vandalise the service. Google will need to think carefully about how the approval system works if it wants to rid the service of vandalism permanently.

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