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Google Maps Now Open To Editing

Certain place markers that correspond to hospitals or local businesses that have been claimed through Google's Local Business Center cannot be altered.

Google on Tuesday opened up Google Maps, allowing anyone with a Google account to edit existing map place markers or to add new ones.

Google previously allowed signed-in users to move map place markers to correct inaccuracies.

"Now in the U.S., Australia, and New Zealand, you can log into your Google account to edit a place on the map," said Google software engineer Ramesh Balakrishnan in a blog post. "You can even mark that a business has closed to save someone an extra trip. Of course, we've taken steps to help protect accuracy -- for example, you'll still be able to see the original listing information along with the history of changes made."

Certain place markers that correspond to hospitals or local businesses that have been claimed through Google's Local Business Center cannot be altered.

A cynic might be tempted to see this immunity as a scheme to pressure local business owners to contribute data to Google Maps. The alternative is surrendering to the whims of the unruly masses, a model for mischief that made Wikipedia famous.

Unclaimed businesses and other locations that appear as a result of a Google Maps search are open for any Google account holder to alter. Map fixers can change place names, addresses, phone numbers, Web site listings, and descriptions, or create markers for new locations.

If, for example, you can think of a better way to describe the White House -- yes, the one at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C. -- you're free to add that information.

Expect the Report Abuse link to see heavy use.

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