Saturday, May 30, 2009

Map your world with Google Map Maker.

About Google Map Maker

Google Map Maker allows you to contribute, share and edit map information for certain regionsworld. Once you understand the basics, you can locate, draw, label, describe and moderate local map features, including: around the
With Google Map Maker, you can become a citizen cartographer and help improve the quality of maps and local information in your region. You are invited to map the world with us!

Introductory Video

Editing Features

In Google Map Maker, a feature is a place or geographic characteristic. These can include man-made structures (examples: buildings, monuments, or businesses) and natural elements of a landscape (examples: lakes, rivers). Certain features can include other features, such as a park may include a monument. Each feature has information that you can add or edit. Depending on the kind of feature, this information can include:

  • Overview - Basic information about the feature. (name, address, etc.)
  • Attributes - Specific details about the feature. (road speed, driving direction, photo URL, etc.)
  • Description - Longer description and comments for reviewers. For example: Comment to moderator - This building has been torn down recently.
  • Events - Occurrences that pertain to the feature (such a concert that occurs in a park)
  • History - Record of past edits to the feature (changes made by other users)

Adding Features

Use the Hybrid view (top right corner) while adding/editing map data. This will give you the best view of existing terrain.

You can add line features (roads, railways, rivers, flyovers, underpasses), region features and points of interest. To mark a location and add information, do the following:

  1. Navigate to the appropriate area.
  2. Click the Find or Browse tools.
  3. Click an appropriate location. If you are using the Browse tool, choose a type of feature in the left panel. Features appear on the map.
  4. Check to see if there is a feature that matches what you wish to add. If it does, consider editing it. This prevents duplicate feature submissions and make Google Maps more useful for everyone.
  5. If there is no such existing feature, click the appropriate Google Map Maker tool (see above).
  6. Draw or mark the location with your feature.
  7. In the info balloon, add the appropriate information and click Save.

Searching for Features

Once you have navigated to the appropriate area, you can search for an existing feature in one of three ways:
  • Click the Find Tool . Click an appropriate location.
  • Click the Find Tool . Click an appropriate location. Choose a type of feature in the left panel.
  • In the left panel, enter a search term and click Search. Notice that only items already added to Map Maker appear. If you know the latitude/longitude coordinates to a place, you can search on that as well.
  • Right click an appropriate area and choose Find near this point.

Search results appear in the left panel and in the map.

Browsing for Features

You can use the find/browse tools (under magnifying glass) on any area on map. This is more useful if you want to find information related to particular category in some area before editing or adding.

Adding Features with No Name

Many features will not have names or you may not know them. Please just add the feature leaving the name blank.

Adding a Second Name to a Feature

Do not use parenthesis to include two or more names for a feature. Instead, please add a second name:
  1. Create a feature, like a road.
  2. Click Add/Edit Details in the info window.
  3. Fill out the name information in the "Overview" tab of the detailed info window.
  4. Click +[Add Name] to add additional names.
  5. Please also indicate the "Language", (example: English), and "Type of Name" such as:
    • Preferred - The most commonly recognized name for this feature. A feature can have multiple preferred names (one for each language), for instance: "Ha Noi" in English and "Hà Nội" in Vietnamese.
    • Official - The name officially recognized by the government. For instance: "Lýðveldið Ísland" and "Republic of Iceland" for Iceland.
    • Obscure - Not commonly known name but useful for search purposes. For instance: "Saigon" for Ho Chi Minh City.
    • Abbreviated - An abbreviated version of the name which is useful for search or postal codes. For instance: "PK" instead of "Pakistan".

Editing Features

Once you have found an appropriate feature, you can edit it. To do this:
  1. In the search results, click the appropriate result (feature). The info window appears.
  2. Review the existing information in the info window. If it incorrect or incomplete, click Edit > Add/edit events (Edit > Edit).
  3. Add or edit information for this feature. To edit additional information, click Add/Edit Details.
  4. To move or adjust the borders of an area, click and drag the points of the area.
  5. When you are finished, click Save.
  6. To undo an edit, click My MapMaker > My Changes. Under the appropriate change, click Undo.
Accessing Google Map Maker To access Google Map Maker, visit Use your Google username and password to sign in. If you do not have a Google account, sign up today.

Using Tools

Once you have signed in, Google Map Maker displays in your web browser. The service is similar to Google Maps, but displays tools that allows you to mark locations and add information. These tools include:

Use the Find tool to locate existing features that others have added to the map. Use this tool before you add a feature.
Use the Browse tool to view all features of a particular type that others have added to the map. Use this tool before you add a feature.
Placemark tool
Use the Placemark tool to mark a location such as a business or school.
Line tool
Use the Line tool to mark roads, rivers, etc.
Polygon tool
Use the Polygon tool to mark regions, such as a park or neighborhood. You can enter similar information as with the Placemark tool, but the Polygon tool enables you to mark an entire area.