Google Maps Taps People Power To Improve Results - InformationWeek

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Google Maps Taps People Power To Improve Results

Google has added a feature that lets people correct the location marker for street addresses, businesses, and other places.

Google on Tuesday said it has added to its maps service a feature that lets people correct the location marker for street addresses, businesses, and other places.

To use the feature, a person searches for an address or place. If the arrow pointing to the location is off, the person can click "edit" and then "move marker" to drag the icon to the correct location. To combat pranksters, Google has added a "show original" button to view the original marker location. If the modified marker location is incorrect, then it can be dragged to the right place.

As is the case with many Google features, only people who have registered for a Google acccount can move location markers.

The feature is another example of Internet companies tapping into the collective knowledge of their online communities to improve services. Among the best examples of such collaboration efforts are wikis, which are Web sites that can be quickly edited by visitors with simple formatting rules.

Online encyclopedia Wikipedia.org is among the most successful examples of a wiki. The technology, however, is also being adopted by businesses as a form of communication and collaboration among employees.

For quite awhile, Google has focused on adding interactive features that get users more involved in its maps service. Last month, the company launched map-creation tools that let people make maps, and then share the information with other users. In addition, map makers can publish profile pages highlighting their creations.

Along with creating their own maps, people can insert ratings and reviews of restaurants, a bike trail or any other location. This information can also be added to a person's profile page.

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