One of the really interesting things about Google Maps is that there’s a huge, thriving community of people who love to help make the product better. Basically, when a road closes, or something is incorrect, there are tools via Map Maker that let them report it. It involves the community in ways that serve both sides of the fence.
Today, the Google Maps team has announced a bit of a “reward” system for those who help out a lot. It wants to reward accomplishments that are met by members of the community and I happen to think that it’s a great program. It’s kind of like giving cash rewards out to hackers who find holes in its products.
Here’s what the team had to say about the new Google Map Maker badge program:
You’ve been working hard to build the most comprehensive world map, and now you can share those accomplishments with the new Google Map Maker Badges! You can earn badges for everything from making your first edit in Map Maker, to organizing a MapUp event or contributing to Map Makerpedia. Some badges even have stars you can earn for each milestone within a category.
These fun and colorful badges will appear for all to see on your Map Maker Profile, as well as when you hover over a mapper’s username.
For a complete list of badges and how to earn them, be sure to visit our Help Center (http://goo.gl/MKj3L).
On behalf of the entire Map Maker team, we’re proud to give you the recognition you deserve!
Happy holidays, and happy mapping!
Based on the number of edits you’ve made, how many were accepted and implemented and things of that nature, you can accrue these badges, which let the community know that you care and that you really know your stuff.
Here’s a look at what you’ll see on Map Makers’ profiles:
While Google isn’t paying these members of the community to help, they are doing a public service by making maps more reliable and safe. The more you do, the more badges and levels you hit:
This is something that other companies could do when it comes to sourcing out tasks to its users. For example, Foursquare has a “super user” program, but doesn’t really give anything away to them to let the community know how special they are. Perhaps they will in the future, though. Map Maker has been around for quite a while, but its continued community features are broadening the base of folks who participate. From mobile to desktop, people are reporting inaccuracies, and that means that I won’t have to be directed off of a cliff again.
Like I’ve said a thousand times, Google, as a company, has gone completely social.