In order to provide people with the most comprehensive, accurate
and easy-to-use maps of India, Google is looking to use the wisdom
of the crowds. The search engine giant has announced Google’s
first ever mapping competition in India called Mapathon 2013
Mapathon 2013 — which starts on February 12 and culminates
on March 25, 2013 — is an India-wide mapping
contest open to just about anybody who lives in India. Google is
inviting amateur mappers and mapping enthusiasts from all over the
country to help it create better maps for India by adding their
knowledge of local places through Google Map Maker.
To encourage participation, Google has announced various prizes.
The top 1000 mappers participating in Mapathon stand a chance to
win Android tablets, smartphones, gift vouchers and Google
Karthik Babu, a sales executive based in Bangalore, began
actively mapping local Indian locations using Google Map Maker back
in December 2009. Commenting on his motivations to map, Karthik
said, "To me, maps are important as they help provide useful
information about a state or a city in a way that can be accessed
easily by most Indians. In a country as big as ours, it's
especially important for us to find better ways to communicate
local information. This is why I started using Google Map Maker
— if we can all help by mapping local hospitals, schools,
rivers, temples, and even petrol pumps, then we can make a
difference in people's lives. And through this difference, we can
all contribute to India’s social development."
So how does it all work? Google Map Maker is an easy-to-use tool
that allows users to add more detail to Google Maps through a few
simple clicks. Using Google Map Maker, you can select a specific
area on Google Maps and add new information based on your own local
knowledge or by referencing Google Maps satellite imagery.
With just another click, you can save and submit your input —
and once the submitted edit has been verified, the new information
will be added to Google Maps.
Highlighting the USP of Google Map Maker, Jayanth Mysore,
Product Manager, Google India says, “It has always been our
endeavour at Google to organize the world’s information and
make it universally accessible and useful. One way we hope to
achieve this is by mapping the world and what better way to do this
than by asking users to map their neighbourhood. Google aims to
provide better maps for India by building better maps for the
users, by the users. What started off as an initiative by a few
Google engineers is now used across the world and today, citizens
across India can participate in this great project through Mapathon
Google Map Maker was conceptualized in India more than 4 years
ago, and ever since, it has provided a rich set of features for
users to map with.
The registrations for the competition have been opened, and one can
register at: http://g.co/mapindia2013