Necessity is indeed the mother of invention, as Google Map Maker has experienced time and again. Following a momentous 2009 launch in Eastern Europe, Map Maker mappers hit the ground running, particularly in Romania, and with each public map edit requiring reviewing, our internal reviewers could hardly keep up. This extreme mapping was a happy problem for Google, and in seeking a solution, we turned to the real experts: our local users. After a time of quiet experimenting, and reinforced enthusiasm from users at the Singapore Geo Summit, the Map Maker team is pleased to announce our Regional Expert Reviewer program, giving distinguished mappers increased reviewing capabilities within their state, country, or region of expertise around the world.

Map Maker invites users to make their mark on the world map (Singapore Geo Summit).

Our Regional Expert Reviewers earned their appointed positions by making an impressive number of high quality contributions to Google’s base map, and by actively participating with Google and other mappers on our Map Your World discussion forums. Much as Google reviewers are differentiated by a ‘G’ icon next to their username in Google Map Maker, you can recognize a Regional Expert Reviewer by an ‘R’ icon next to his or her username when they review your edits. These moderators are located all around the world, and the Map Maker team is thrilled to be working alongside such expert mappers to ensure our quality of reviews remain high in our ongoing effort to build better maps.

They’ve got the whole world in their hands! Some of our Map Maker Advocates, now also Regional Expert Reviewers, at the Singapore Geo Summit in April 2011.

Map Maker is rooted in the belief that local knowledge is essential to creating accurate maps, this is the very reason we put mapping in users’ hands. They can be reassured that their edits may be reviewed by other locals who are familiar with their area and are invested in the quality of mapping around their community. Additionally, all Map Maker contributors can, at any time, review and comment on the edits in their communities. After all, contributors know their neighborhood better than anyone else. Now, their reviewers can, too.