Google just can’t keep up with the flood of toxic edits pouring into Map Maker, so it’s decided to shut off the valve.
An announcement on the Map Maker product page says Google is temporarily suspending all user edits until it can find, “ways to add more intelligent mechanisms to prevent such incidents.”
The reference is to an Android urinating on an Apple logo, a gaffe that forced Google to publicly apologize. In the announcement of the shutdown, Map Maker team member Pavithra Kanakarajan says that it was a “strong user in our community” who posted the offending robot by taking advantage of auto-approval for regular contributors.
Google quickly suspended that feature, requiring approval for any edits to go live. But since then Kanakarajan indicated the team has been inundated with other spam and a backlog of legitimate user edits. So in order to try and get things under control they’re shutting down all submissions until they can create a better workflow.
Why this matters: This is a blow for Google Maps, which relies on user submissions to stay up-to-date with changes across the globe. However, it can’t afford more embarrassments like the peeing Android fiasco, so it needs to find a way to better vet edits before it lets map makers back in.