Google Maps has updated the way you report new and missing roads on the desktop, allowing you to draw them directly on the map. Fortunately – or unfortunately, depending on your perspective – there are safeguards that prevent you from simply adding a giant penis-shaped “road” into the Australian outback.
Previously, when you added a missing road to Google Maps, you could only drop a pin, enter a road name, and write a note. Details like the exact direction of the road, how long it was, and the nature of its curve depended on your ability or patience to make them prose.
Now you can just paint your highways, phallic or not, like the artists of old.
“Add missing roads by drawing lines, quickly rename roads, change road directionality, and realign or remove incorrect roads,” Google Maps product manager Kevin Reece said in a press release. “You can even let us know if a road is closed with details like dates, reasons and directions.”
Navigating to this new feature is exactly the same as submitting a course correction before updating. Just open Google Maps on your computer, click on the hamburger menu next to the search bar, select “Edit Map”, then choose “Missing Road”.
Google will review user submissions before they are published to remove any unauthorized dong graffiti, and the update will roll out to more than 80 countries over the coming months.
Google Maps also announced another boon for people who say best when they say nothing at all: photo updates. Rather than having to write down your recent experience of a place or give your local bar a star rating, you can simply upload a photo of yourself getting run over on Friday night (once you can, you know, do it safely) and let people draw their own conclusions.
To be clear, you can already upload photos to Google Maps. However, these new photo updates seem to focus on recent images, which means there will be a good chance that the quiet-looking little cafe you read will always be calm when you visit.
Photo updates allow you to leave a short text description below the images you upload, but there’s also no obligation to make a quality judgment on the location – or write anything down. that is useful. It’s more about letting people see for themselves what the location looks like at that time.
“[S]Sometimes you need a little more info, like if a restaurant’s outdoor dining area is shaded on a hot day or how crowded a parking lot for a popular hiking trail can get on weekends ” , said Reece.
To see photos that other people have uploaded for a location, look at the location in Google Maps and click the “Updates” tab. To download yours, click the “Download Photo Update” button.
Google Maps photo updates will roll out in the coming weeks, and there is currently no limit to the number of photos you can choose to upload. But I’m sure you will all make perfect sense with this responsibility.