Google Map Maker expands to more corners of Europe

Residents of Greece, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Slovenia now can make their own contributions to Google Maps and Google Earth.

Google Map Maker is now available in new parts of Europe, including Greece, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Here's a look at community contributions that improved the map for Korcula, Croatia. The inset map shows what it looked like before contributions.
Google Map Maker is now available in new parts of Europe, including Greece, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Here's a look at community contributions that improved the map for Korcula, Croatia. The inset map shows what it looked like before contributions. screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Google has opened up its Map Maker service in Greece, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, letting people in those corners of Europe add their own contributions to Google's massive online mapping service.

Map Maker lets people contribute geographic features like roads, buildings, paths, and parks to Google Maps, a crowdsourced effort that can speed up improvements for people in an area where Google hasn't invested its own resources.

"Whether you add a biking route through Tallinn or a landmark in Vilnius, each improvement to the map will help locals and tourists alike better understand the area and discover new things to do," said Nicole Drobeck, Map Maker's community manager, in a blog post Thursday. "Once approved, your contributions will appear on Google Maps, Google Earth and Google Maps for mobile."

Contributing to Google Maps can help contributors and others in their vicinity directly -- but it's also doing free work for a tremendously profitable corporation. And volunteering labor for Google also could mean people aren't contributing work to a significant rival, OpenStreetMap, whose online maps are available for anyone to use, not just those who license Google Maps.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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