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Harnessing the power of Web 2.0, Google turns to its users to perfect Street View markers
Google Maps and Street View results, especially for the most popular urban areas, are very, very good. But they're not yet perfect.
In an attempt to refine its results even more, Google announced last night that it has added a nifty new feature to Street View that allows users to edit where business markers should appear on the online maps.
In the info window that appears when clicking on a map marker, users will find an "edit" link followed by a "move marker" link. A Street View screen surfaces with the map view still visible. The user is then asked to place the marker at the entrance to the business or place.
Google is not bashful about asking its users for help; they really recognize that people know their neighborhoods best.
"Now you can make sure that everyone searching for your favorite businesses in your hometown can be directed to exactly the right spot, so do your part and move those markers," writes Software Engineer Jie Shao on the Google Lat Long Blog.
Google Maps has been open to various kinds of edits since 2008, but the company has more recently instated some changes that make it even easier for the user to correct faulty information and data.
Just last week, Google launched a new way to edit Place Pages, so that users can quickly update incorrectly listed addresses, Web sites, and other such details. And even the edit feature introduced last night had been available previously, but it had been considerably more difficult to use without the supplemental Street View perspective that now pops up while editing.
Though not many can deny the utility of Google Maps, the service has come under fire in Europe, where the main privacy watchdog says Google continues to infringe on European privacy laws. Google will likely have to concede to many of the concerns raised, including hiring a representative in each of the countries it serves, to ensure the service abides by the local laws.
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