London, Oct 4: The launch of Google Map Maker has made tens of thousands of Indians to mark details of their cities, towns and villages, many of them which had blank spaces previously in even the most up-to-date atlases. Map Maker, created by an Indian, Lalitesh Katragadda, is a tool that would allow users annotate and amend satellite images to produce useful maps. Now, the technology is being extended to other 'information-deficient' regions, such as Africa, and is viewed as the future of map-making. The tool may in fact turn out to be worth billions for Google in advertising revenues.
"We've seen a fantastic emotional interplay emerge. People want to map their favourite restaurants, their old school classrooms. This is going to fill in a big piece of the geo-web puzzle," Times Online quoted Katragadda, as saying.
Google has claimed that it is specifically focussing on 'hyper-growth countries' such as India, where maps are changing daily.
Already, there exist a number of websites that let users to amend online maps.
Some bloggers have accused Google of apeing non-profit projects such as OpenStreetMap. org, which places fewer restrictions on how collected information can be used.
However, Google claims that its enormous online reach gives it an edge over others of hitting critical mass.
Katragadda said that its map service has already achieved what his team calls "the genesis effect", the point at which the wealth of data captured attracts a rush of users to the map site, who in turn plug in more information. (NAI)