Google Maps Restoring Map Maker Editing Feature

After an image of an Android bot urinating on an Apple logo popped up in Google Maps and prompted the company to temporarily shut down Map Maker, which allows users to edit maps, the company says the feature will be reopening in phases.

Pavithra Kanakarajan, product manager for Google Map Maker, wrote in a blog post this week that the first phase will see the feature restored in six countries to start with: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, India, Philippines and Ukraine, with the feature reopening in other countries “over the coming weeks.”

In an effort to prevent any more wayward images, Map Maker is introducing Regional Leads in every country tasked with moderating editing done by other mappers in their area.

“These are users who have demonstrated a clear interest in mapping their areas and will be helpful in moderating edits made by you,” Kanakarajan writes, noting that edits will still be reviewed by Google’s automated moderation systems as well.

This regional system might mean edits could take longer to go live, she notes, and Leads may reach out to users through comments to collaborate on revisions.

The ability to add new geometric shapes is still on hold as well, making it even tougher for any peeing characters to pop up where they shouldn’t. Users will still be able to change the features of existing shapes, however.

“Once again, thank you for your patience and continued support through this process!” Kanakarajan adds.

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