Google Map Maker & Chicago

(Cross-posted from the Student Blog)

The Google Map Maker campus tour recently visited the Windy City to talk to students about how they can use Map Maker to map their campuses and make updates to places they care about on Google Maps. While in town, we also hosted a Map Maker event at the Google Chicago office to share the tool with folks working in the public sector. We had a great time meeting so many enthusiastic mappers from the area, and look forward to seeing how they put Chicago on the map.

Our first stop was the University of Chicago campus, a beautifully historic area with architectural gems galore. Students who attended this event were excited to map not only their campus, but neighborhoods near the university, showing the diversity and development of the population and culture.

Our second stop was Northwestern University, where a packed room of students learned about mapping while sampling some traditional Chicago style deep dish pizza. Delicious! Students were particularly interested in adding details to their campus, naming the buildings, adding locations of the sororities and fraternities, and marking the building outlines or footprints of their favorite restaurants and stores nearby.


Our Google Map Maker team loved partnering with Google Student Ambassadors from these campuses, who creatively and passionately helped plan these events. You guys did an amazing job! The Google Student Ambassadors from Northwestern University had this to say about the Map Maker visit:

“Our event brought together over 120 Northwestern students who were eager and excited to learn about how they could make an impact by adding to Google Maps using Map Maker … Map Maker was a welcome product that put the power to shape the map in our hands. All in all, it was an incredibly fun and engaging experience!”

-Sourya and Minjae, Google Student Ambassadors at Northwestern University

The last event—a meeting with public sector officials at the Google office in Chicago—gave us some great insights about how Map Maker can be used for large metropolitan areas. University educators, Department of Transportation employees, Census Bureau representatives, Chicago Health Department folks, and many more shared how they would like to see Map Maker applied to what they do. We really appreciate all their feedback and suggestions, as well as their enthusiasm for how this tool can help them share their work with each other and the public.

Chicago and the surrounding areas were such enjoyable places to visit, full of vibrant and passionate people. We look forward to visiting other campuses in the fall, but don’t wait until then to leave your mark on your campus!

Google Map Maker: Map the Midwest

During one of the Map Maker Community team’s recent college campus events in Chicago, we had the pleasure of meeting Phil Swanson, an international studies and business student, who travelled nearly 200 miles to join our mapping event at the University of Chicago.

As soon as we started talking with Phil, his passion for mapping and computers came shining through, so we were excited to learn more about what drives him to add to, edit, and create using Google Map Maker.
According to Phil, it all started with retrofitting an interactive campus map when he was a web developer at the University of Wisconsin, Platteville. There was an existing version that utilized the Google Maps API, which he further developed, resulting in this useful campus map. Phil says about the project, “I love to make simple things for people to use, and I’ve always been interested in maps, so that project definitely created an interest in maps and mapping in general.”

Once Phil realized the positive impact his mapping could have on the university, he continued using Google Map Maker to ensure all of the campus details were correct. He began seeing his edits appear not only in Google Maps, but also on Google Maps for mobile on his phone when he searched maps near the university. “Seeing edits transition from Map Maker to Google Maps on mobile and filling in the details make maps that much more useful for me and the world,” Phil said about mapping his town and the campus.

What aspect of the maps does Phil enjoy most? “I love mapping buildings. Seeing the buildings from my University show up on my phone is the best.” Phil has developed a handy system of finding what needs to be fixed on the map, going out with his phone to take pictures, then adding those photos to a web album which he can then include with his edits in Map Maker. “This is especially useful for buildings . . . . It might sound obvious, but I find that my edits are much more likely to get approved if I describe what I’m doing and link to a photo for a more complex edit.” What a helpful technique to use during the review process!

We want to thank Phil for taking the time to hang out with us in Chicago, and also for sharing with us what excites him about mapping. We look forward to seeing more great mapping from Phil, and hope other students are inspired to make the maps of their own colleges and universities more comprehensive and detailed!

For more useful tips like Phil’s, visit the Map Your World Community forum to see what others are doing.

Ovi Maps 3D Beta

Ovi Maps 3D Beta ( Now Photo-realistic)

Cities coverage

Nokia’s photorealistic 3D models of metropolitan areas initially include:

– Boston
– Chicago
– London
– Copenhagen
– Florence
– Helsinki
– Las Vegas
– Los Angeles
– Madrid
– Miami
– Milan
New York
– Oslo
– Prague
– San Francisco
– Stockholm
– Toronto
– Venice
– Vienna
(plugin required) – servers are in demand currently and might not get the full picture – wait a few days for the hype to calm down.