Cantabrians sick of being directed to closed roads and demolished businesses can take control of the city's maps under a new Google scheme.
Volunteers will remap the inner city this weekend, with software that allows residents to make their own alterations to Google maps. They expect to map more than 80 city blocks and 1000 local businesses by tonight.
Google product manager Nabil Naghdy said his team realised there was a problem when updated satellite imagery showed Google's listings of Christchurch streets and businesses were no longer accurate after the February 2011 earthquake.
The new technology, Naghdy said, is perfect for a city that is constantly evolving and under construction.
"To make navigating the CBD possible, and make finding businesses accessible, it's an incredibly powerful tool."
The team of volunteers working today will update the heart of the city, but after that other residents can get involved. The Mapmaker app is activated simply by shaking an android phone or iPhone. From there, any resident can mark streets which are closed, re-routed or under construction, and re-label businesses which have been shifted or demolished.
"If the community sees how easy it is, and how much impact it can have, it'd be amazing for them to take ownership of the local maps, make the changes, and everyone else benefits from that," Naghdy said.
Most volunteers working today are from the Student Volunteer Army and University of Canterbury's computer science society. Mapping volunteers will meet at the EPIC building on Manchester St at 10am. The event is open to the public.
- © Fairfax NZ News