back to article Google builds crowdsourcing into new Maps code stack

Google has been giving more details about how it has redesigned its Maps software by adding in crowd-sourced photographic and driving directions to its coding scheme. The new Maps package is a ground-up rewrite of the code and the algorithms it uses, with the aim of generating personalized maps for each user that are suitable …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice, *if* it is optional

    There are several nice features there, but I hope they are optional and can be disabled.

    For example: showing only the streets pertaining to the route is nice - until the street is closed due to some event Google doesn't know about, and you need to see what options exist.

    Also, the article isn't clear: is this about the maps on the web site, or the Maps application in Android? If the latter, once again, I wish they would fix it to allow multi-point routing: something they have been promising for YEARS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice, *if* it is optional

      The reason for cutting out streets is to reduce the multi-use nature of the map. If needs/situation changes, the one is forced back to Google. It's an effective lock-in and allows Google to find out even more about one's life.

      The unthinking Facebookers and G+ers will lap it up.

      1. MrT

        That 'effective lock-in'...

        ...also gives Google near real-time updates about situations such as the one you mention, which it can presumably use to inform other Maps users navigating in the area.

        But they could get that whilst still showing more of the area, so perhaps they're trading off map tiles against images along the route. I for one would prefer the multi point routing on Android, to match the drag'n'drop rerouting on the desktop version - it's impromptu stuff like that, rather than planning a complex route on a laptop and saving it ahead of the journey, which the Android version lacks.

        They're thinking of Glass users here though since some of the ideas seem to make more sense over a HUD.

    2. DaLo

      Re: Nice, *if* it is optional

      They don't hide the route they just enhance the main routes into the place and demote the street names etc of the others.

      If there is a hold-up then Navigation will automatically, based on feedback about the issue, be able to re-route if it's quicker.

      The main point is, the maps will be vector not tiled and so you can dynamically change the appearance without using layers or downloading new tiles.

  2. Wintermute

    Colourblindness at The Reg?

    Those dots are green.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Colourblindness at The Reg?

      Perhaps he means the tiny blue dots.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Colourblindness at The Reg?

        Good call, wombie!

  3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Map Of Reality scale 1:1

      It's almost like if you want an amazing service, you need to give something back.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Map Of Reality scale 1:1

        When the price of the service is my privacy (and thus my freedom), then the price is too high.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Map Of Reality scale 1:1

          "When the price of the service is my privacy (and thus my freedom), then the price is too high."

          Then use an alternative you can pay cash for. Nobody is forcing you to use Google's software.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Map Of Reality scale 1:1

        lol, you already GIVE them something back. Each time you use it you give them plenty of. Data.

    2. Eddy Ito

      Re: Map Of Reality scale 1:1

      Damn Eadon, it looks like you're slipping; you missed one.


  4. oolor

    Interesting, how lately all the Google news on the technical side has been a focus on making everything faster and smaller footprint. And that us-sourcing thing again for the dirty work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If one can make billions from what fools give away (or the government allows one to steal - orphan works)...why not?

  5. squilookle

    "Google was moving away from giving full maps to ones which just show the streets people need to find their chosen location. Non-essential data is taken out of the map to cut down on the clutter."

    I'm all for progress, but this sounds like they are now trying to solve problems that don't exist. And in fact, I think they may create new ones. David D. Hagood gives one good example above, but more so, I like to see the other streets - I don't examine them closely while I'm driving but it makes me feel I have a better grip on my bearings and I do take some of it in.

    Crowd sourcing for the routes people actually take sounds like a good idea but I would prefer that as a route option on the existing maps (e.g. fastest, eco, popular...)

    1. Pookietoo

      Re: I like to see the other streets

      I expect they'll still show the streets you can see from your route, just not those farther away.

  6. Tony W

    Fix what's wrong

    Minor roads are invisible anyway on many systems as they are light grey on white. People have been complaining for years about this.

    And who owns all these photos they're using?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't think they care who owns them. They are probably trolling your Facebook page right now looking for photos!!!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fix what's wrong

      That's why the orphan works thing it's such a scam. Companies like Google caddy effectively ignore one's copyright.

      But we can't buy the right people dinner, so we don't count.

  7. petur

    Their biggest crowd-driven maps app

    is mapmaker

    On the one hand it is nice to be able to correct an error so that next time you use the map it can offer a better route. The very nice thing is you can fix every little detail, even if it is a recommended road for pass-through or bikes (tip: check the road you live on, fixing this if you live in a residential area makes maps avoid the place when looking for a shorter route)

    On the other hand, it pulls you away from also doing this on OpenStreetMap, not everybody can be bothered to fix on two sites AND if more people use android the Google Maps one will be fixed faster.

    1. OneArmJack

      Re: Their biggest crowd-driven maps app

      I started to use mapmaker when it was released over here last month but then thought, "what the hell am I doing giving my time, knowledge and effort to a commercial company for free?" Sure, our changes are shared to all users, and you could argue that is our 'payment', but Google are still profiting massively from it.

    2. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: Their biggest crowd-driven maps app

      It is good to tweak locations around where you live. The "road" to the east of me was a bumpy track across the muddy fields. Not something you'd want to take a car down. T'was nice to get that sorted out so navigation doesn't begin "turn right now"...

  8. Eddy Ito


    So we've got Google developing AI, Glass and crowdsourcing their maps. How long will it be before we find the Google datacenter has enveloped us all and Laurence Fishburne is asking us to pick Depakote or Viagra?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, now it makes sense

    So this is one reason for the government-backed attempt to rob people of their copyiright.

    Must be great to be the likes of Google; pay nearly no tax and have the public work for free.

  10. Patrick O'Reilly


    I hope Google have their patent cheque book at the ready, a lot of the new features look a lot like Microsoft's Photosynth technology

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    many, many other things they want to do

    The post is required, and must contain letters.

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