Once upon a time, a bunch of Googlers were sitting around during meal time or 20% time or something, just thinking. And you know what happens when Googlers think in groups, right?
“You know,” says one, “I sure wish we could bring Google Maps to the islands of the world.”
“Yeah, that would be awesome. I claim Tahiti!”
“No, I’m serious,” says the first. “But, obviously, travel costs would be prohibitively high.”
“I still get Tahiti,” mutters the second. “If we do Street View, anyway.”
*moments of rumination*
“I know!” exclaims a third. “Let’s have the islanders do it!”
“Yeah! It’ll be like outsourcing to India!”
“Even better—let’s do this wiki-style. Id est, we don’t pay contributors.”
“Tahiti, here we come!”
All mutually bask in awe of their brilliance and proper usage of Latin phrases. Google Map Maker is born.
. . . Do you think I’m kidding? Because I’m not. Not, really, anyway. When I heard the name Google MapMaker, I thought, “Oh, cool, this will be something like My Maps only with lots of cool editing features, right?”
Nope. Google MapMaker, according to the Google Site dedicated to it, is designed to help create custom maps, including features like:
- Borders and regions (states/provinces, districts/administrative regions, cities, neighborhoods, etc.)
- Road networks
- Places of interest
- Local businesses
- Railways, waterways, events and reviews
However, it’s not designed to be useful to the vast majority of . . . well, everyone (right now at least). The current list of countries included in MapMaker:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Netherlands Antilles
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Trinidad and Tobago
(Okay, so, Pakistan and Vietnam aren’t islands. Or anywhere near the other countries on this list. What’s the deal?)
Among the data you can add now are things like adding points, naming streets and clarifying turn restrictions at intersections.
I’m guessing some Googlers had tropical vacations on their minds when they came up with this one.