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Google’s had a penchant for crowdsourcing elements of mapping service for some time now. Its Map Maker volunteers even made North Korea a little less mysterious. In India though, it looks like El Goog’s trying to take things to the next level.
According to an official post on the internet giant’s India blog, it will be hosting a mapping competition with the aim of using people’s knowledge of their neighborhoods to create better maps.
The contest, which runs from 12 February to 25 March will reward the top 1 000 mappers in India with Android tablets, smartphones, gift vouchers and Google merchandise.
Hosting the competition in India makes sense too. It is, after all, where Map Maker (Google’s crowdsourced mapping tool) was born. According to Jayanth Mysore, a senior product manager for Map Maker:
Four years ago, a group of Googlers in India led by Lalit Katragadda, Country- Product Head, decided that it was time to team up with users to improve our maps for India in a dramatic way. The core belief was that users know their neighbourhoods, villages, and back yards better than anyone else, and so we designed Map Maker as the tool people could use to update these details onto a digital map.
Last year Google rolled out turn-by-turn navigation for its Maps offering in India. The work put into the Map Maker during the Mapathon should therefore help make that navigation more accurate. And that accuracy could potentially help people save time in a country renowned for its monster traffic jams.