Today Google released updates for Google Map Maker. Official announcement at Google Official Blog reveals the most awaited opening; Map Maker for United States of America and Map Your World announcement forum lists out the number of useful interface updates and exciting tools.

The Google Map Maker update that has been named as Columbus Redux announces the following updated and new features.

– Map Maker Pulse
– Quick publishing to Google Maps
– Review more and get reviewed faster
– 2D building structure
– Street view & Panoramio pictures
– Additional Zoom Levels
– New help centre, better than ever
– Advance search tool
– Full screen mode
– Layers – photos, walking/biking, pending places, pending road
– Convert from road to trail and vice versa

We would like to talk some of exciting features in details here.

Map Maker Pulse

Take a look at this video to get an instant idea of Map Maker Pulse.

One of the most exciting features that you will not get tired of watching through it for hours. With this tool you can watch maps being drawn from around the world in real time.  The tool not only brings the fun but also exciting usability for moderators to watch their specific areas to moderate and keep an eye on “bad guys”; of course to teach them a better way to help people than just spamming the map.

Click here to watch live mapping in Pakistan. (You may be asked to login with your gmail/google account and to install the Google Earth Plug-in for browsers.)

Quick Publishing to Google Maps

Yes, quick means as soon as your edits are approved with good rating, they are live in Google Maps and can be seen by anyone around the world. Now this feature reduces the map data transfer time from Map Maker to Maps. More and more good edits on live Maps brings more usability. If you correct a feature now or fix the broken driving directions, it may not take as long as it use to be before. There is no timescale on these updates but usually approved and published edits with good rating are available on Google Maps in less than 15-20 minutes.

Review more & get reviewed faster

Here is the deal, you review your local area with quality moderation and your edits will be queued up in moderation and dealt quickly.

2D building structure

All you need is to enter the floors and height in meters for a building feature and it will be published as 2D model on maps. See following example of Habib Plaza, Karachi and Peshawar International Airport Terminal.

Street view & Panoramio photos

Unfortunately, we don’t have street view in Pakistan yet but we have enthusiastic photographers who put their high quality work for everyone to admire at Panoramio and this work also helps a lot in mapping. Just turned on the Panoramio layer now and reference your specified feature.

Additional Zoom Levels

Yes, congratulations, now you can look inside the buildings, houses and offices! Just kidding, with additional zoom level now you can zoom to maximum level of 20 and map data also follows the satellite imagery that before use to vanish at more than level 18.

Improved Help and Support

Google Map Maker now has a better than ever help centre with an additional feature of quick info built inside the interface. If you find any difficulty understanding anything in left side panel during editing or moderating then just click on small question mark icons to get a quick reference and explanation to the attribute.

Advance search tool brings now search results highlighted in type of polygons, quick access circles and line features. Convert trail to road and vice versa solves the long awaited issue where user mistakenly drawn a road as trail but could not convert back. Full screen mode provides more space to edit and moderate. Top bar also displays your current focus map location that helps you not get lost in maps.

You can read in detail at MYW Announcement forum about these features and their functionalities. You can write your thoughts about the update at this forum and can report any facing bug at this forum.

Images are taken and copyrights to Google Maps and Google Map Maker.

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