Updates Today to Google Maps and More Google News

After a few days of news covering court cases, failing stocks, and other less-than-encouraging news, it’s time for some lighter news to begin the day.

New Locations for Google Maps

Google is known for continually updating its products. This is a great thing for the consumer.  It’s always exciting when Google Maps gets updated. Who doesn’t enjoy exploring the locations they make available?

Yesterday Google announced two updates to the Maps platform on their blog. First up, Google is bringing us access to Cambridge Bay, located waaaaaay up north in Canada. I never knew this place existed until I read about Google adding it to their street view collection. All you need to do is “search for [cambridge bay] on Google Maps and you’ll fly to a tiny hamlet located deep in the Kitikmeot Region of Nunavut in Canada’s Arctic.” Yeah, Arctic. It’s that far north.

It’s nice to know that Cambridge Bay residents helped to accomplish the task.  It’s something they wanted and saw value in. As one resident told Google, “This is a place with a vast amount of local knowledge and a rich history.” Google Maps is an opportunity for the community of Cambridge Bay to literally put themselves on the map.  Now, people will know who they are.

Motor City Maps

The second update to Google Maps involve Google bringing newer and more updated information about Detroit, Michigan to the Maps platform. More specifically, Google is encouraging residents to utilize their Google Map Maker tool to better map the bike paths in the city. The effort is inspired by Todd Scott, “the Detroit Greenways Coordinator” who hopes that more information will expose more residents to the great biking paths and trails the city has to offer.

Google on the Election

Along with the maps information, Google also announced their YouTube Elections Hub. The channel is designed to be a media hub for all information concerning elections. Google writes on their blog that the channel will host “both established names in media and sought-after new voices.” I say the more information and the more voices the better—US media gets stale on elections sometimes anyway. Time for some new voices!

Last but not Least, You

Yes that’s right, the latest news from Google concerns you. More specifically it concerns your privacy. CNet is reporting that Google is “building a ‘read team’ dedicated to solving privacy problems” and that the team will “[seek] out and [fix] privacy risks within the company’s products, services, and businesses processes.” This is good news for all of us. As the internet and applications demand more and more of our information, it’s easy for us to get used to sharing it. We get a lot out of doing so from many online services. But we need to keep in mind the importance of privacy, even if—especially if—we have nothing to hide. These changes come on the heels of a fine levied by the FTC on Google for misuse of advertising cookies totaling $22.5 million in charges.

So as you can see, Google has been rather busy lately. Really though, when are they not?

Are you happy with what Google has been up to lately?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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