Google just announced that it plans to crowdsource a large part of the review process that currently brings user-generated map edits to Google Maps and related products. Thanks to Google Map Maker and the ability to suggest edits and notify Google of mistakes in Google Maps, the number of potential edits was apparently threatening to overwhelm Google’s internal reviewers. Instead of expanding its internal team, though, Google has decided to give “distinguished mappers” from around the world the ability to review and approve edits in their respective regions.
These Regional Expert Reviewers, Google says, are users who have made “an impressive number of high quality contributions to Google’s base map” and are active on Google’s Map Your World discussion forums.
By bringing on local experts (who, as far as I can see, are not being paid), Google can rely on these users’ expertise to enhance its maps more accurately and quickly. Chances are, after all, that a local user will be more likely to recognize a necessary edit than somebody sitting in Mountain View with little to no knowledge of the local geography of a remote country.