After a glut of spam including the viral episode of an edit that incorporated an image of Google’s Android mascot peeing on the Apple logo, Google’s Map Maker program was suspended this past May. A recent post by Pavithra Kanakarajan a Product Manager with Google Map Maker announced that the program will reopen sometime in early August.
The reopening of the program will happen in stages and edits will be moderated by the larger community. The crowdsourced moderation is a departure from Google’s previous practice of manually moderating edits by staff members. Kanakarajan explains:
The reason for this change is that every time we observed someone attempting to vandalize the map, many of you acted quickly to remove the offending feature and demonstrated real ownership for maps within your region. We have come to the conclusion that of all the defenses available to keeping our maps clean, the interest of a community of well-intentioned users, is among the most reliable and fast.
Google will nominate community volunteers in each region to become a “Regional Lead” on Map Maker. Those leads will be responsible for overseeing edits made in their regions.