Google will lock users out of its Map Maker editor for Google Maps starting tomorrow after trolls and spammers used it to wreak havoc on the company’s maps. After some high profile incidents (including one user drawing the Android logo urinating on Apple’s logo) Google decided that all submissions would have required manual review before getting pushed to the Maps website for the world to see.
According to a post on Google’s Map Maker forums by company representative Pavithra Kanakarajan, requiring manual moderation has created a “very large backlog” of edits requiring review. As such, Google is closing down the ability to submit them at all until after the company has had a chance to revamp its submission systems to prevent future abuses.
It’s bad news for people who rely on the Map Maker service to provide accurate information about places around the world. The program was originally released so that users could add points of interest and other landmarks to Google Maps in areas that wouldn’t traditionally be investigated or served by the company.
Google doesn’t have an estimate for when it expects to complete the revisions to its editing system, but it intends for this to be a temporary outage and will bring Map Maker back online when there are systems in place to prevent abuse.