Google Improves Maps Data With New Crowdsourcing Features

Mapping the world is no easy task. Just ask Google. Despite millions of updates to its Maps app daily, perfectly accurate data remains unreachable.

Google is leaning more than ever on its community of users now, leveraging the power of crowdsourcing to create more accurate and up-to-date mapping data. The company says it has expanded the ability to add missing places and edit existing business or landmark information worldwide on both the Google Maps app and through Google Search.

“This lets people contribute new and updated information to Google Maps from more places—whether they’re searching for a new restaurant on or looking for a nearby convenience store while on the go,” Google says.

There’s more to a place than its business hours or address—you might want to know if a place has a romantic vibe, serves vegetarian food or offers outdoor seating.

And now on Google Maps for Android and when searching on your mobile phone, you can contribute what you know about a place so that others can benefit from the info as well (such as whether a place has outdoor seating, offers vegetarian options, or is romantic).

“Knowing these types of details helps us build a deeper understanding of a place so we can better help users find the places most relevant to them,” Google says.

The company has also introduced a new way for users to help approve edits suggested by others, reducing the amount of time it takes for edits to appear on the map. For places that have pending suggestions, you’ll see a notification stating that “Someone suggested new info.” If you click or tap that notification, you’ll have the option to verify whether the suggestion is accurate. Once enough votes are received to be confident that the suggestion is accurate, it’s published to the map.

Together, these new changes let people who are familiar with their neighborhoods help provide accurate, reliable information about their favorite haunts and hidden gems,” says Google.