Let’s Map Africa!

I found a great post on Google’s Africa blog today announcing Map Maker, a wiki-like way of increasing Google Map’s coverage of places where there’s very little data available for them to start with. As with everything Google, the launch version is a little not-smooth, and it is hard to understand how the moderation feature works. Am I supposed to be able to moderate other people, or is it the invisible Hand Of Google that moderates me? I can’t figure that part out yet, but I assume it is community moderation. That’s Not Evil, and when I last checked Google was Not Evil…

So take a look at my first addition, the huge cemetery in the middle of Monrovia, Liberia… so huge you can see it from space.

This is big, cool news. See downtown Nairobi for what it looks like when lots and lots of features have been added by people (a concentrated push by a group of college students that Google hired this summer). Click on “more info”, then “history” to see the wikipedia-like history of the Motor Vehicle Inspection Unit. It was added Oct 27 by Ken and approved by Afrin.

Too bad Google Maps is so hard to use with low bandwidth and high latency. It would sure be nice to have a much better offline story for Google Maps. Perhaps the MapMaker team(s) in Google’s Africa office(s) will be the ones to finally push this dream enough to make it reality.


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