The month of June proved fruitful for mapping enthusiasts, tech buffs, and entrepreneurs throughout Pakistan as they gathered for a series of Google MapUps organized at universities in three major cities: Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.
Led by Google Pakistan Country Consultant, Badar Khushnood and a trio of Pakistan’s Map Maker Advocates—Faraz Ahmad, Jabran Rafique and Omer Sheikh—the three events welcomed a total of 150 participants to learn the ins and outs of Google Map Maker. The intent of the MapUps was to guide new users through the process of mapping their cities and neighborhoods while stressing the importance of having a complete map of Pakistan available online.
Recent mapping efforts in Pakistan have been predominantly aligned with relief efforts following Pakistan’s 2010 floods and landslides, as demonstrated by Omer, Jabran and Faraz. Dr. Sayeed Ghani spoke at the Karachi MapUp about Sindh Flood Maps, his community-based geographic information system (GIS) that implements a Google Maps API to assist in disaster management. Dr. Sohaib Khan, who co-hosted the Lahore MapUp, has also focused on flood relief.
On a basic level, the aim of MapUps is to teach new and aspiring mappers the fundamentals of Map Maker, and to bring them together to map their community. Omer explained that “The idea is to get the participants started in the hope that they will continue mapping in the future.” Badar Khushnood and our Mapping Advocates ultimately highlighted the tools and motivation behind mapping, highlighting it as influential, inspirational, and humanitarian.
Google MapUp, NU-FAST, Islamabad, Pakistan
Learn more about hosting a Google MapUp in your own community, and be sure to visit our Advocates and other passionate and helpful mappers in our Map Your World Community.
As part of ongoing effort to answer your questions about Google Map Maker, we’re introducing a newly designed Help Center. In the new Help Center, you can find clearly documented policies and information about how to make edits and review others’ edits.
This Help Center, available in 20 languages thus far, includes tips and tricks to help ensure that your edits get approved quickly. Where possible, we also provide a rationale for why you’re asked to fill certain attributes or make edits in a particular way.
In addition, we’ve organized the Help Center into five guides, each addressing a key aspect of Map Maker:
Each user guide article follows a consistent format so that you can easily find and skip information with which you’re already familiar. Links to related articles are also provided where appropriate.
Please let us know if you have feedback about the new Help Center on the Map Your World forum, as that will help form our next round of improvements. Your tips and best practices for Map Maker are also most welcome.
You can get to the new help center via the Help link at the top right corner of Map Maker or visit http://www.google.com/support/mapmaker.
These edits are often visible immediately on Map Maker, but aren’t seen by most users until they’re published on Google Maps. In the past we would process edits in large groups, which meant it could take weeks before approved edits appeared on Google Maps. In preparation for yesterday’s launch, we recently added a new publishing system to reflect Map Maker user contributions on Google Maps more quickly. Once a Map Maker edit has been approved, it will now appear on Google Maps within minutes.
You often have the latest information about changes that occur in the places where you live and work. If a new coffee shop opens along your way to work, or you discover a tennis court nearby, you can add to or update the map and help other users find those spots just minutes after your edit is approved.
Map before user contributions
Map after user contributions, showing tennis courts in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware
With our new publishing system and the efforts of the Map Maker community, we’re working together to make Google Maps a more detailed, up-to-date reflection of the world around us. You can see the results of these efforts through real-time edits by users around the world atmapmaker.google.com/pulse. To add your local knowledge, learn more or get started mapping at mapmaker.google.com.