Google has launched it’s MapMaker service for India and 57 other countries ( full list available here ). Google MapMaker was completely developed by Google India. It is aimed to improve the quality of maps for those regions of the world where maps data is sparse.
MapMaker will allow users to contribute, share and edit various data like borders and regions(states, cities etc.), roads, railways, waterways and various points of interest.
While Mapmaker will surely help Google in gaining relevant local data, there are many risks involved in employing crowdsourcing. The big challenge for Google would be to expand its mapping data without compromising on accuracy. Google is hoping to strike the right balance with the help of peer moderation. Any info you add/modify will be instantly visible to others and subject to review by other users. This is of course nothing new and Wikimapia has been employing crowdsourcing in mapping for quite some time. It remains to be seen how successful this experiment will prove to be for Google.
And in somewhat related news Google has signed a deal with GeoEye Inc and would be recieving high quality imagery from their new satellite GeoEye-1. Head over to Mashable for more details.