Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today formally announced that tens of thousands of edits made by Filipinos on Google Map Maker can now be seen on Google Maps. Google Map Maker—an application that allows users to edit Google Maps data—was launched in the Philippines in October last year to provide local map enthusiasts a means to personally contribute to the building and updating of online map data for the country. Now millions of Google Maps users around the world can see more accurate and updated online maps of the Philippines including new roads, points of interests and regions all over the country.
Since the launch of Google Map Maker in the Philippines, hundreds of users have contributed tens of thousands of edits, reflecting the overwhelming enthusiasm by Filipinos to collaborate online and share their knowledge of their neighbourhoods with the rest of the Internet community. Google Map Maker edits have come from a diverse group of Filipino users all over the country including civil engineers, business executives, programmers, entrepreneurs, and students. Through a moderation and verification process, most of these edits, which include street-level data, landmark tags and business establishments, can now be seen on Google Maps.
“Congratulations to the thousands of Filipino users who have successfully contributed to Google Map Maker! The Philippines is one of the most challenging places to map because of the diverse topography of its more than 7,000 islands—this is why there is a dearth of accurate map data available online. Because of the collaborative efforts of local map enthusiasts, we are beginning to see the “physical face” of the Philippines getting clearer over time for the global community to see. This is a great start, but know there is much more to do, so we encourage you to join your fellow Pinoys and contribute to Google Map Maker to give the Philippines an accurate virtual country map to be proud of,” said Derek Callow, Head of Marketing, Google Southeast Asia.
“I’m passionate about editing maps and Google Map Maker’s interface is very intuitive and user-friendly. I started adding streets and establishments in Tuguegarao, where I was born, and Baguio City, where we lived when I was growing up. Then I quickly moved on to editing municipalities and cities,” said Wayne Manuel, one of the Philippines’ top contributors to Google Map Maker with several thousand edits. Manuel is a Chemical Engineering Filipino student currently studying overseas at the National University of Singapore. “It started out like a big jigsaw puzzle with many pieces missing. But when I saw the roads, street names and landmarks coming together on Google Map Maker, I felt really happy for my country and it encouraged me to contribute even more,” Manuel said.
“Seeing that the edits—including the ones I did—have been pushed to Google Maps means the Philippines is more and more on the global map, and that we put it there through our own Pinoy passion! It was personally satisfying for me. The reason I set out making edits is because I wanted to help promote the places that I grew up in and the country as a whole to the rest of the world. The mission continues and I hope even more Filipinos will join us on Google Map Maker to improve the online map of our beautiful country,” said Bernard Arellano III, another top contributor to Google Map Maker in the Philippines. Arellano, who works as a call center agent, made several thousand edits on Guimaras and Iloilo.
”I think it’s important that local users keep the edits coming in because having accurate map data helps promote the country’s viability to foreign investors and tourists,” said Dante Varias, a 56-year-old civil engineer who is also among Google Map Maker’s top contributors for the Philippines. “The Google Map Maker interface is so user-friendly you don’t need any specialized training before you can start editing.” Varias said that he had been looking for map-making software prior to the launch of Google Map Maker late last year. “When I discovered Google Map Maker, I immediately started enjoying the process of editing the map tiles of Cavite, so much so that after only 37 days, I had already added over several thousand edits on my own.”
Here are some screenshots and videos showing the amazing contributions of thousands of users of Google Map Maker in the Philippines:
Manila ( HYPERLINK “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnTEzprTobo” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnTEzprTobo)
Cebu ( HYPERLINK “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r19-3Rbqh20” \t “_blank” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r19-3Rbqh20)
Davao ( HYPERLINK “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7cpMO6O67w” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7cpMO6O67w)