You may remember the Google Maps prank last month that made it look like an Android robot was peeing on the Apple logo in Pakistan.
Apparently, that’s not the only case of misuse of Google’s map editing tool, Map Maker. It’s now so bad that the company has been forced to shut down the site temporarily to combat a surge in false edits.
Map Maker taken down
Now when you visit Map Maker, there’s a popup that lets you know it will be offline from May the 12th. Clicking on the Learn More button then takes you to a message from the Map Maker team explaining that it had at least attempted to resolve the situation by suspending automated approval and community-based moderation. However, with the backlog of edits now being approved on a case-by-case basis, this quickly became unmanageable.
Now as a result, the search engine giant is being forced to shut the tool down completely, until it’s able to catch up with all the edits and reinstate the moderation system in a more robust manner that’s less susceptible to misuse and abuse.
Unfortunately, it’s probably likely that the surge in spam was due to the increased interest after last month’s Apple-related prank from one of the users, but that will hopefully lead to better moderation on Map Maker in the future…