Google today announced that it will stop providing the standalone Google Map Maker service in March 2017. At that time the service’s capabilities — which include adding new places and editing existing places — will be incorporated into Google Maps, on desktop and on mobile.
“This update will enable us to focus on providing the best editing and moderation experience within Google Maps on both desktop and on mobile,” the Google Map Maker team wrote in a forum post, as TechCrunch reported earlier today.
Because of the upcoming changes, Google says that edits that people make through Google Maps will no longer be open to moderation through Google Map Maker. “This will allow us to streamline our efforts, speeding up the time for an edit to get published,” the Map Maker team wrote.
Like other large technology companies, Google shuts down products from time to time. Others Google has killed lately include the Ara modular smartphone project, Pixate, and the Chrome app launcher for Windows, Mac, and Linux. And the Google Drive app for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows Server 2003 will be going away on January 1, 2017.
Map Maker dates to 2008, and it only came to the U.S. in 2011. The announcement about killing Map Maker comes less than two years after we reported on the fact that, at the time, if you searched for “nigga house” on Google Maps, the service would show you the White House. There were other issues of user-generated map edits, including “Edward’s Snow Den” at the site of the White House, as well as the words “Google review policy is crap” carved out into a area of land in Pakistan.
It’s not clear how many users Map Maker has. But Google Maps does have more than 1 billion active users.