I personally find satellite navigation as one of the best inventions (it might have been available earlier but I’m talking about availability for general public on smartphones and similar devices) of the past decade. It’s surprising sometimes when even streets that you never knew existed in your area until then are marked on the maps. Sure it can be really useful when visiting a new area or city.
So how does all the data get collected? Well for countries in Asia and Africa most of the maps are user created. That’s right, 80% content on Google India maps is user created. And these users aren’t some lab geeks sitting behind computers day and night, but these are ordinary people like you and me. Infact even you can add data to these maps and help improve them. And well that is the point of this whole article.
Google has always allowed users to add data to its maps however Nokia has only started it recently. If you happen to know some place/location or road that isn’t listed on the map you can add it yourself. You can even edit or remove places that have been marked incorrectly or do not exist. For Google Maps, all you need to do is sign in to your Google account and visit http://www.google.co.in/mapmaker. Initially your changes would require moderator approvals but once you get enough changes right that wouldn’t be required.
For Nokia maps (and they do need your help) visit http://here.com/mapcreator/?ns=true, make and account and start editing right away. It is one of those small things you can do to help everybody and make this world umm well a better place. So go on and start your career as a cartographer. Happy editing.