I’ve been using Google Mapmaker since they opened it up for editing in the U.S. in April. I mapped all the campus buildings where I work, I added a couple of hiking trails, I changed info on some roads that weren’t reasonable to bike on, and removed roads that weren’t there. It’s fun being able to fix, improve, and add information to google maps.
This whole time there really weren’t a lot of people editing in my area. I barely ever saw changes come in in the areas I’m monitoring. The last couple of weeks though, someone (“Salim”), has been adding a ton of information to Beechwood State Park in Sodus, NY. I have been loving seeing the trails start appearing on the map, and parking areas, because I can never remember where you’re supposed to park at Beechwood.
Today a campground appeared in the middle of the map & I was all… “no way. you must be mistaken. I must correct this error.” But then I looked it up and you actually can camp at Beechwood. I had no idea. I love that I’m learning new things about the area I live in because other people can add information to the map.
Somehow the appearance of this campground is pushing my enthusiasm for mapmaker to a new level. It’s like some kind of epiphany that makes me want to use phrases like “Democratization of the Map” and charge around recruiting other people to show me all the cool things about my area that I didn’t already know about.
I did actually go to Google last week for a Geo Users Summit and I left with a lot of enthusiasm but this really brought it all together for me. Thanks Salim, whoever you are.