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Home arrow Experts arrow Glenn Letham arrow Mapping How To - Reporting Map Errors to Google maps, Bing, Mapquest, OSM, and others data providers     

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Mapping How To - Reporting Map Errors to Google maps, Bing, Mapquest, OSM, and others data providers PDF Print E-mail
Written by @gletham   
28 March 2011

You know the scenario... you browse an online map service for directions or a local search and notice an error or issue with a place of interest (POI), an error with a road segment, or notice some other oddity with the basemap layer. Now what? Luckily most of the major  map providers have mechanisms to help users report errors... read on for details.

Twitter is rapidly becoming the place to locate help, find tools, or ask a question. I've noticed on a number of occasions users of online map services searching for help or instructions on how to report an error found on a basemap. Obviously this will depend on the source of the data, however, most of the major basemap data providers have created tools and mechanisms enabling users to report issues located on maps. The following are some of the resources provided by the major online map data providers. 

Mapquest - Using the "new" Mapquest there's no apparent way to click a report tool or send feedback, however, If you have a question or want to provide feedback about the map data Mapquest does want to hear from you and has a resource for this. Using the report page users can send a message directly to the Mapquest Customer Support team - according to Mapquest the team does review each one. From Mapquest "We will either research the best answer for your questions and get back to you or will send your suggestions and feedback to our Product Management team."
See http://www.mapquesthelp.com/app/forms/question_feedback

TeleAtlas - TeleAtlas (think TomTom) is a major provider of basemap data to many popular online webmap service providers. Users can report issues directly to TeleAtlas via the Map Insight program. Some details from TeleAtlas... Map Insight® is a web-based reporting system that collects information about differences between Tele Atlas map data and the real world. Although Map Insight® presents a map to help you identify the location of a change and then collects detailed information about the change, it does not update the map directly. Users are provided with 3 steps to report a change: Locate it on a map, describe the issue, report it. See http://mapinsight.teleatlas.com/mapfeedback/

teleatlas insights

Navteq map reporter - Navteq invites users of services with Navteq basemap data to become map reporters. This tool enables users to find an issue and report details of the error or problem. Users can use this resource to add/change details about aPOI or business - this is suggested for business owners!
Make changes to the location of a house or building, edit road segments or attributes (like tag it one way etc...), or report traffic restrictions, speed limits etc... Note, A Maps Reporter module has been added to the 'More' menu of Nokia's Ovi Maps. See http://mapreporter.navteq.com/

Report a problem with Google Maps - ever used Google maps (gMaps) and noticed an error? Within the online Google maps help there's detailed instructions on reporting an issue - See HERE.
For users they can also Report a Problem in a couple of places directly within maps:
- Right click on the map and select "Report a Problem"
- Click the "Report a Problem" link at the bottom right of the map
- Click the "Report a Problem" link below driving directions
- Click the "Report a Problem" link below the search results on Maps
There's also information for Google Places regarding known issues etc... SEE HERE

Right-click within Google maps to bring up the reporting tool

Select from several options and report the problem to Google

Google also has the Google map maker service, enabling the community to provide map edits and additions (this is similar to what OSM provides). This from Google... Once you have submitted content, this information may be edited by other users or moderators. At a later time, this content may be published in Google Maps for others to see and use.

OpenStreetMap - OSM is a crowd-sourced, open basemap. The map updates, edits, and additions come from the crowd of OSM mappers. Users wishing to make modifications or edits to the OSM data can report using the tools at http://openstreetbugs.schokokeks.org/ There's a number of fine mapping tools available that enable registered users to add or edit map features. Some of the tools include:

JOSM - http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/JOSM

Vespucci OSM Editor - http://www.appbrain.com/app/vespucci-osm-editor/de.blau.android
Potlatch OSM online editor - see details
iLOE OSM editor for iPhone - see iTunes

ArcGIS for OSM - esriosmeditor.codeplex.com - allow you to download data from the OSM servers and store it locally in a geodatabase. ArcGIS Editor for OpenStreetMap is designed to help ArcGIS Desktop 10 users to become an active member in the growing community of users building an open and freely available database of geographic data

Bing Maps - Although some of the data providers mentioned above have their own map reporting tools, users of Bing can also report a problem directly from within bing maps. While using the web service, notice in the lower right area a link to "Feedback". This will result in a popup up winder being displayed where users can report an issue with a POI, issues with base maps or imagery etc... Bing can then get in touch directly with the data provider to QC the issue and hopefully rectify the matter. See http://www.bing.com/maps/

bing maps reporter

AND Automotive Navigation Data is leading provider of digital mapping data used for navigation and location-based services. We heard from AND via Twitter (see @AND_Rotterdam) and a representative tells us that users of their data products can easily report issues simply by sending an email to their support team supprt @ and.com - See http://www.and.com/

Last Updated ( 19 April 2011 )
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