For a few years, Google has offered a tool called Map Maker to users that wanted to edit Google Maps data. The tool enabled users to edit information and suggest changes in Google Maps. The company has now confirmed that it’s shutting down Map Maker, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to take away the ability to suggest changes and make edits. It’s moving all of those features to the main Google Maps application.
Google says that it’s moving all of the Map Maker features over to the main Google Maps application as part of its Local Guides program. The program rewards users for improving local mapping data in their community by giving them access to beta features before everyone else as well as giving them free Google Drive storage.
Google had to face an embarrassing situation last year when a Map Maker user was able to get a pretty detailed drawing of an Android robot urinating on an Apple logo. That drawing was actually live in Google Maps for quite some time before it was spotted and swiftly taken down by Google. The company even temporarily shut down the tool while it improved moderation for Map Maker submissions.
Moving these features to the Local Guides program allows the company to strictly moderate submissions and it may also contribute helpful information such as location edits, reviews, and additional relevant information that just improves the Maps experience for all users.