Last Word: What Google Maps Needs Next

Google looks unstoppable. The new Google Maps website is oh, so cool. We used it to point the way to a meeting this week and everyone seemed to like it. I checked it out using my home address and got good results there as well.

I had a couple of people mention that the map results were incomplete or inaccurate for their home locations with one of them reporting that the new road near there house was still not on the map. This seems like it could be an easy fix.

We now have millions of Americans driving around with GPS units attached to their cars every day. Some use them actively in the form of a navigation unit, or passively in the form of a cell phone or On-Star. The units are powered on and watching the skies for their position all of the time. Why shouldn't we tap into this massive array of GPS enabled devices to log their travels, download and collate the aggregate data and update our maps more quickly?

Drivers could volunteer to donate their daily driving logs (anonymously) to an online database that would use the driving data to detect new roads and improve the accuracy of existing road pathways. Since my very old GPS still doesn't know about the new section of Interstate I-85 in Spartanburg, I'd be one of the first to benefit. -Phil Yanov

About Phil Yanov

Phil Yanov is a Technologist, Columnist and Public Radio Commentator.

He is the founder of Tech After Five as well as the founder and President of the GSA Technology Council and the IT Leadership Council.

His personal technology column appears in Greenville Business Magazine and the Columbia Business Journal.

He co-hosts the Your Day technology shows heard on NPR radio stations across South Carolina and is a frequent contributor to technology stories appearing on radio and television.