Remember this interesting Google Maps “addition” ? What initially appeared to be a dig at Apple actually turned out to be a prank by someone using the Map Maker system. It allows users to add extra detail to Google Maps, such as rivers or parks etc.
Trouble is, as we detailed in our follow-up post, the whole business of actually monitoring and checking what gets added is incredibly difficult and time-consuming, especially when prank images such as the Android relieving himself all over the Apple logo shows. That was done in stages, with each piece submitted separately. On their own, the sections looked fairly innocuous, but they resulted in the infamous image when they all overlapped.
Google implemented a manual checking system shortly after this occured, but they’ve now put Map Maker usage on hold as there’s just too much back-log. Sadly, despite it being quite useful, this additional service might not return as it is too easy to abuse in current form.
Google Map Maker member Pavirthra Kanakarajan stated that..
We have been experiencing escalated attacks to spam Google Maps over the past few months. As a consequence, we suspended auto-approval and user moderation across the globe.
The most recent incident was particularly troubling and unfortunate – a strong user in our community chose to go and create a large scale prank on the map.
Looks like a small amount of pranksters have caused the service to take a “temporary” shutdown. Whether it’ll return is another matter.