Google is set to reopen its Maps service to user-submitted edits and labels albeit through a new moderating process.
The web goliath will use a team of hand-selected users to screen edits to its maps and approve any changes. Previously, Google employees were taxed with monitoring all submitted revisions of Maps.
"Map Maker will be reopened for editing in early August, and we’re looking for users to now have more influence over the outcome of edits in their specific countries," wrote Maps product manager Pavithra Kanakarajan.
"This means that edits on Map Maker will be increasingly made open for moderation by the community."
The new system will assign community moderators to various regions, for which they will be responsible. New edits will first be run by Google's automated moderating software and will then require approval from the community moderator. Google staffers will also fill in to check edits when needed.
Google hastily shut down user editing in May after pranksters loaded up the page with offensive pictures.
You see, Internet? This is why we can't have nice things ... a previous submission to Google Maps that went live on the website
Among the creations posted to the site by users were the aforementioned "peeing Android" picture and the above critique of the old review policy. The images were snuck into Maps by being posted into remote regions in the Middle East where users would otherwise seldom look.
Google had said it would eventually relaunch user edits, but Kanakarajan's announcement marks the first time Google has provided a timeframe for the re-open. A specific date and time for the rollout were not given. ®