Google re-enables Map Maker in Canada after vandalism issues

Google Map Maker

Back in May, the Internet shared a collective laugh when a strange image was discovered within Google Maps. Near the city of Rawalpindi in North Pakistan, a couple of sharp eyed individuals from Team Android spotted Android’s loveable mascot peeing on the logo of Google’s competitor, Apple.

Initially, it was thought that that the image was an easter egg planted by someone on the Google Maps team, but we later found out that it was added through Google Map Maker, a service that allows anyone to make contributions to Google Maps.

The company eventually took down the image and disabled Map Maker while it looked for a way to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

At the time of the incident, Google’s Mara Harris told the Washington Post, “We’re sorry for this inappropriate user-created content; we’re working to remove it quickly… We also learn from these issues, and we’re constantly improving how we detect, prevent and handle bad edits.”

After a several month absence, Google is slowly reopening Map Maker. To start, changes can only be made in Canada, as well as in Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Ukraine and the Philippines. Moreover, additions are no longer auto-approved by the service; instead, the company has decided on a new regional moderation system wherein each country will have a regional lead that will be responsible for checking every addition.

Google hopes this will be enough to prevent future mishaps. Of course, someone is sure to find a way to sneak something through eventually.