Edit places using Street View images

Monday, March 8, 2010 at 11:20 PM

Last week we announced that you can edit details about a business listing directly through the Place Page. But sometimes you may find a place in Google Maps that isn't quite positioned where it should be. Let's say you know that your favorite pizzeria is near the corner but the marker for it appears further down the block. You want all hungry pizza-cravers to be able to find this great spot, so you want to make sure the marker leads them directly to the storefront. You could use our map editing feature (the "move marker" edit) to move it to the right place, but moving the marker to the right location is not always that easy, especially in denser urban areas, if the only reference you have are maps or satellite images because you can only get a view from above. So now we have added one more very handy reference for making a map marker edit: Street View images. It makes the edit much easier.

Let me show you how the editing feature works.

When you find a place that is in a wrong location, click on the marker and get an infowindow open as what you did before.



Click on the "more" link, and then click the "Move marker" link in the drop down menu. You'll see two jumping markers in the map and the Street View image appear, which means both of them can be dragged. When you drag the marker on the map to a new position, the marker inside the panorama will be updated correspondingly, and vice versa.



Since you can now view a street-level image of where the marker will be placed, it's not difficult to find the exact spot in the image and place the marker to the right position. Isn't that convenient? After editing, all you need to do is to click the "Save" button above the Street View panorama. If you're not happy with the edit, or just not sure if it is correct, you can always hit the "Cancel" button. Edits with Street View images tend to be more accurate and precise because looking at the ground-level images provides very helpful local detail.

With the editing feature, we encourage our users to put the marker at the entrance of the place. However, users sometimes put the marker in the center of a street block, and we don't have an easy way of detecting this. By introducing this feature, we know approximately where the facades are from Street View images. Based on the information, we can snap the dragged markers to the closest facades automatically by using street view information. Of course, we have a threshold for the snapping: if you attempt to put a marker inside a large place with no Street View image (for example, a park or a stadium), we may end up with the marker in the center and a message box indicating there isn't a Street View image available.

Now you can make sure that everyone searching for your favorite businesses in your hometown can be directed to exactly the right spot, so do your part and move those markers.