TECH

Google Launches 'Map Maker' Tool In The UK (PICTURES)

11/04/2013 09:00 BST | Updated 10/06/2013 10:12 BST

Google Maps has finally released its Map Maker tool in the UK, allowing users to correct information and add new details to its location data.

The service first launched in 2008 for users in Vietnam and Pakistan, initially as a way to develop Maps in countries where it did not have accurate information.

The launch was followed by rollouts to most other countries - including North Korea - shortly after.

But the UK was left out of the tool, until now. Google blamed technical issues with merging its current maps data with user-generated additions for the delay.

Map Maker allows users to make suggestions for new hiking routes, details about buildings, political boundaries, restaurants, roads and other local features. Users can also add lakes, parts, trees, graphics for building outlines and bicycle routes.

The changes are reviewed by other users and Google's staff before becoming part of its public maps. The search giant estimates it should take "a few days" for additions to reach the public version of maps.

Google also provides a way for users to track changes to the UK's maps as they are published.

Google is not the only service trying to harness its users to improve their Maps.

After Apple's bungled launch of its own mapping app in September, CEO Tim Cook asked users to submit changes, errors and other information in order to improve its data. Nokia also has a similar tool, though it is not currently available in the UK.