Following a series of pranks and obscene edits, Google temporarily suspended its croudsourced mapping tool this week.
Starting Monday, visitors to the Map Maker site were greeted with this message: "Map Maker will be temporarily unavailable for editing starting May 12, 2015. We are terribly sorry for the interruption this outage might cause to your mapping projects. Please bear with us and plan your activities suitably." Google offered a link to a forum post on the matter, explaining that Map Maker will be suspended as the result of "escalated attacks to spam Google Maps over the past few months" such as last month's urinating Android spotted on the day of the Apple Watch launch. Since then, Google has "suspended auto-approval and user moderation across the globe, till we figured out ways to add more intelligent mechanisms to prevent such incidents. All of our edits are currently going through a manual review process."
"Given the current state of the system, we have come to the conclusion that it is not fair to any of our users to let them continue to spend time editing. Every edit you make is essentially going to a backlog that is growing very fast," explained Google's Pavithra Kanakarajan on behalf of the Google Map Maker team. "We have hence decided to temporarily disable editing across all countries starting Tuesday, May 12, 2015, till we have our moderation system back in action. This will be a temporary situation and one that we hope to come out of as soon as possible." It is unclear when this issue will be resolved.
Photo: © Google.