back to article Google asks Blighty to slave over its Maps for FREE

Google is extending its Map Maker editing tool to users in Blighty, so they can help the Chocolate Factory get its maps right. Googlers in the US, France, Australia and over a dozen other countries have been able to add detail to Maps on the browser-based software for as long as five years now, as the tool has spread since its …


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  1. mordac

    UK already has an open map

    It's called OpenStreetMap. I wonder if they've thought of cooperating with OSM, rather than competing with it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: UK already has an open map

      google is a corporation, not a public-good project. They do not cooperate. They invest resources, buy data, take over companies, or use crowsourcing to "optimize the cost" (to zero), they do not "cooperate" unless there is a benefit to them (monetary or otherwise).

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: UK already has an open map

        The company formerly doing no evil


    2. ratfox

      Re: UK already has an open map

      I'm going to guess that they do want to own the data, and certainly not distribute it freely to all. Google Maps is free to use for random Joes, but large users do need to pay for the privilege.

    3. Ru

      Re: UK already has an open map

      Apparently they have chatted with the OSM people in the past, and at the time the licensing requirements were a bit of a legal grey area, and certainly something of an inconvenience for big companies.

      OSM went through a big license change not so long ago, with the aim of making it (legally) easier to consume their data. Clearly whatever changes were made were not good enough for Google. There are other (much smaller) companies who have used OSM data for commercial purposes... Cloudmade spring to mind, but maybe they're probably less likely to attract negative attention than Google. Who knows.

    4. Irongut

      Re: UK already has an open map

      OpenStreetMap? You mean the place Apple got the data for their oh so accurate maps?

      1. Phil Endecott

        Re: UK already has an open map

        > OpenStreetMap? You mean the place Apple got the data for their oh so accurate maps?

        Err, no. Apple maps are much worse than OpenStreetMap where I've looked.

        It's possible that Apple have used some OSM data somewhere, but it is clearly not the main source in the UK.

        1. jaduncan

          Re: UK already has an open map

          Apple's OSM data was another licence change before this one. It's *really* old; so much so it was obsolete even before the Apple Maps launch.

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        Re: UK already has an open map

        No, Apple got their maps from TomTom, and seemingly a very ancient version of it.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: UK already has an open map


      I've added a lot of detail to OSM and I did it for the longterm Good Of Humanity (plus it's relaxing way to pass the time, LOL) not for the profit of a corporation. Having said that, I often see businesses on Google maps tagged far away (literally miles!) from where they should be, and wouldn't object to fixing any I see, for the sake of OCD-like perfectionism.

    6. Jan 0

      Re: UK already has an open map

      OpenStreetMap isn't confined to the UK. It's world wide. For example, I've used it while cycling in Iceland and walking in Tenerife and I was just browsing the streets of Luang Prabang earlier today.

      If you want to contribute mapping data, it's surely worthwhile to continue to add to an open project, than add to a project that may vanish behind a paywall.

  2. Wize

    One thing that has confused me about rights grabbing company statments.

    What if you submit something that you do not own the rights to?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One thing that has confused me about rights grabbing company statments.

      If I understand the proposed UK law changes, it becomes the property of the website

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: One thing that has confused me about rights grabbing company statments.

      Obviously you can't legally grant data to Google that belongs to someone else. But by doing so you can get them into trouble. The legal language used is probably designed to get you into trouble too and protect Google. Since they need to protect themselves, evidently.

  3. teapot9999

    I wonder if they check

    I have just asked for Hull to be removed from the map :)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope some jokers in GCHQ add all the secret squirrel locations

  5. Christoph

    Maybe they could even add Liverpool Street Station to the public transport information?

  6. JoshOvki
    Thumb Up


    It seems to me like Google have done the bulk of the work and are just asking its user to polish off the final bits. Which considering it is free is not a bad deal.

    1. dotdavid

      Re: Polishing

      Sure it's free now, but how about the future?

      Somehow I can't see Google allowing people to export all of their contributions to something more open like OpenStreetMap in the eventuality of Google Maps being discontinued, Google going out of business or whatever.

  7. Dave 126 Silver badge

    Right o, I've got some tigers and sea monsters to add!

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Patients?

      No Dragons?

      1. Richard Pennington 1

        Re: Patients?

        Only in Wales

  8. Miffo

    Forum error - no cheap shots at Applet yet

    I've got a few towns that need their location updating in Google maps to match what this here Apple app is reporting.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Patients?

      Not a cheap shot, but I thought Apple should have done something similar to this when they switched. If they had been upfront and said, this is basically an open beta, please send feedback, heres how to do it, less piss may have been showered on their bonfire. The issue there was it was launched as 'something so good Jesus would have only spent 4 hours in the desert if he had an iphone' when in reality he probably would have died in the middle of an Aussie national park.

  9. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Plebs updating maps? Whatever next?

    A six lane highway suddenly appearing right outside your least fav politicians/J Clarkson/etc country home?

    I feel sure that some Students will have great fun with this during Rag Week.

    you get my point.

    Who is going to check the updates? Vested interests need not apply.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plebs updating maps? Whatever next?

      Why not go and look. There is a review process included for any changes. And if you vandalise and have any edits fake approved, expect all IP to be blocked from future edits. I also don't believe you can edit from TOR nodes etc...

  10. Longrod_von_Hugendong

    Wrong company...

    Its Apple that needs this, not Google.

    and i am a fan of Apple products.

    Fail - because Apple maps does. I think they secretly got M$ to do it.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I might fix the road by where I live, apparently it's a right turn... except it's not... you have to go around a roundabout and filter left. If you go right, you'll run straight into something designed to stop everything going right... a dropping bollard that only moves for buses.

  12. Kevin Johnston

    Hmmm...crowd sourcing...

    So how many identical (but curiously wrong) updates does it take to create a loop condition like the recent article about photograph ownership. Anyone fancy adding 'the world's best fish and chip shop' to the middle of the Magic Roundabout in Swindon?

  13. Tom 38 Silver badge

    use Google Map Maker to make the map of the United Kingdom (along with Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey)

    Wonder what Alderney did to piss off Google

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      It's still technically part of the Guernsey Bailiwick, isn't it?

      They must have upset them by... refusing to allow them to use their painstakingly collected Streetview shots? :)

      You can mooch around Jersey in Streetview, but not Guernsey. The Googlemobile visited both island, as far as I recall, but the Guernseymen got upset about their privacy, LOL

  14. Spanners Silver badge

    The English don't know where they are.

    I am not far from Birmingham. I am just over 100 miles from the south coast and 600 from the north coast and people round here insist they are in the middle of the UK.

    And Google wants them to update maps???

    1. frank ly

      Re: The English don't know where they are.

      You may not be in the geographic or geometric 'middle'; but maybe they mean the social or spiritual or population density middle?

    2. Colin Miller

      Re: The English don't know where they are.

      The population centre of Great Britain is the village of Appleby Parva, about 22 miles NE of Birmingham town hall. Yes, I'd have put in nearer London than that.

      1. Spanners Silver badge

        Re: The English don't know where they are.

        They call themselves the midlands so population has nothing to do with that. They just can't tell that the middle of something is half way between the ends, not less than 15% from one end.

  15. Buzzword

    Tube lines

    As yet there is no option to edit public transport lines. This is a shame, as their tube map is particularly shoddy. In most places they've just drawn a straight line between two stations, even in the above-ground areas where you can see the tracks in satellite view.

    1. ratfox

      Re: Tube lines

      I think they do that for practically all public transportation, excepted for some bus lines. Trains and long-distance bus lines just "fly" straight to the next stop (which makes sense, as they probably really do not want to map the exact trip).

  16. Patrick O'Reilly

    NavTeq, so long and thanks for all the tiles

    When Google enable Map Maker for a country it means that they've ditched their reliance on 3rd parties for map data.

    The Google Map is now exclusively Copyright Google 2013 for map data. (external companies are still required for satellite imagery)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Drawing from your knowledge about world famous tourist destinations or the streets of your hometown"

    Stevenage, the town where I live has a few signs for "tourist attractions" around the place. They all seem to be pointing towards the A1(M), and presumably therefore the way out. That always struck me as quite funny.

    1. Andrew James

      There's tourism signs not far from here pointing to a secret nuclear bunker. Always struck me as not very well hidden.

  18. Cousteau

    It's a pity they don't allow you to add fixed and mobile speed camera locations as a category - That would really be useful.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Add them to OSM instead, then use OSMAnd for navigation.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Map's completely wrong here and the map maker application is the shite I've come to expect from google.

    1. Andy Fletcher


      1. You've used it (and found an error) then

      2. Been given the opportunity to submit a correction

      This forms the basis of your complaint by the looks of it. Good show.

  20. Robert E A Harvey


    I sort of don't mind correcting google 'cos its free. TomTom, however....

  21. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    Why is this any different to the likes of TomTom allowing users to upload corrections?

    Having said that TomTom's mapping is still pretty dodgy outside urban areas.

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