When we talk about maps at Nina Hale, Inc, we tend to focus on the frustrations we have with locations merging, or the occasional hiccup we see when uploading a data feed to Google Places, but rarely talk about the fun side of maps. If you just snorted and said “ha, the fun side of maps,” this blog post may not be for you. I’ve recently come back to playing around with Google Map Maker after thinking it wasn’t really for me. But we had a client whose map was displaying incorrectly on their site, and customers had called to complain that they were getting lost. It turns out that the city where this store resides had slightly changed the name of the road, and Google got confused. So I went into the Google Map Maker and added some hours, categories, phone numbers and descriptions. Basically all the same fields that you would find in Google places. I also changed the name of the street to reflect what the city had decided. Problem solved! Having fun yet? I didn’t think so. Here is where it gets fun. The mapmaker functions like a cross between Wikipedia and Yelp. It’s a place where if a business or park doesn’t exist, you can go in and add it yourself. You can approve changes made by other users in the area. You can DRAW the outline of your new building! You can add points of interest. What is a point of interest? You decide. You can, you can, you can…you can do whatever you want! Just this morning while looking out the window of our new office, I noticed the beautiful park across the street. It wasn’t in the maps, so I added it. Just like that. It’s a great extension to the often frustrating experiences people tend to have with Google Maps.