Remember last month when it was discovered that someone used Google Map Maker to sneak an image of an Android robot peeing on an Apple logo into Google Maps? Well now we’re seeing the results of that incident.
Google has temporarily disabled its Map Maker tool, which allows users to submit changes to Google Maps. El Goog explains that in recent months, it’s experienced “escalated attacks to spam Google Maps,” and it went on to say that a recent prank from a “strong user” was “particularly troubling and unfortunate.” As a result of the prank, it suspended auto-approval and user moderation of Map Maker, opting instead to manually review all edits. However, that process is much slower and has resulted in a large backlog of edits as users continue to submit changes to Map Maker. Google has decided that it’s more fair for it to pause user editing indefinitely rather than let users continue to make edits that just make its manual review backlog even larger.
The disabling of user edits in Map Maker is now in effect, and Google doesn’t say when it plans to lift the ban. It does say that the pause in temporary, though, and that it hopes to make Map Maker available again as soon as possible.
For folks that like to make legitimate edits using Map Maker in an effort to keep Google Maps accurate, this ban on user edits is a bit of a bummer. The good news is that it’s only temporary, though, so you amateur cartologists will eventually be back to submitting edits and improving Maps.