Since 2008, Google Map Maker has enabled anyone with an interest in cartography to update the maps of the areas they know, and improve their level of detail and accuracy. Whether adding new businesses, outlining building footprints, fixing road geometries or even tracing a favorite cycling route, citizen cartographers have joined together to create the most comprehensive maps of the world as seen on Google Maps and Google Earth.
Just last week, top mappers across Africa attended the Map Maker Africa Regional Conference in Lagos, Nigeria where we proudly announced the release of Map Maker in Lesotho. This marks an important milestone, as the Map Maker tool now enables volunteer mappers to update and edit the entire continent of Africa. At the event, attendees shared learnings from past MapUps and ideas for future ones, told inspiring user stories, discussed product features with engineers, and closed out the conference with a sing-along led by users who wrote an original song about mapping!
People’s enthusiasm for making maps more comprehensive and adding their local knowledge also continues to gain momentum in other parts of the world. Starting today, map data for Oman and Trinidad and Tobago, which has been added by people through Map Maker, will now appear as the base maps for these countries in Google Maps.
Below is a time-lapse video demonstrating how the map of Trinidad has evolved and changed over time—the result of many contributions people have made via Map Maker. Other time-lapse videos from around the world can be found here.
A big thank you to the passionate communities of volunteer mappers who made both the regional conference and Map Maker graduation possible. More mapping activity across the globe can be seen right as it happens via Map Maker Pulse. And remember, the maps of more than 200 countries and regions are now open for updates and edits, and awaiting your local expertise.