Google has announced in a blog post that Map Maker will be discontinued in March 2017, but this is not the end of the world. This standalone tool that was used to edit data in Google Maps will continue to “live”, or at least its features will be folded into Local Guides, an invitation-only program that’s accessed by Google Maps users who are rewarded for writing reviews of local businesses, posting photos and answering questions.
Google made it clear that “edits made on Google Maps will no longer be available for moderation on Map Maker. This will allow us to streamline our efforts, speeding up the time for an edit to get published.” It seems that Google wants all maps data to be consolidated under one product, adding that “This update will enable us to focus on providing the best editing and moderation experience within Google Maps on both desktop and on mobile. We’ll continue to roll out new features to make sure you’re able to do most of the things you’ve grown accustomed to doing in Map Maker – like edit roads – leading up to March 2017 and after.” If you want to be a useful contributor and help Google improve Maps app, you should become a member of the Local Guides program. Besides contributing with reviews and photos, you will also have early access to new products and features, you’ll get free cloud storage and other benefits.
On the other hand, if you want to install the latest Google Maps 9.41.0 beta version, these are the new features that have been added:
– Satellite view. The application will start in this mode by default, so you will no longer need to switch to your preferred view, but if you want to disable it, you’ll have to got to Google Maps’ Settings menu;
– “on these lists”, a feature for restaurants that will show a selection of websites containing the location or the restaurant’s menu.
– Add a Stop page will be redesigned, making it easier for users to add a stop to their route.
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