Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Best Way to Get Your New House in Google Maps

Update (7/12/2014): If after you get your house listed following the instructions below you're uncomfortable with the street view photo, you can use the same steps to blur it out!  Original post follows:

A colleague recently bought a newly constructed home, and experienced the problem of people not being able to find his address in Google Maps.  I found it irritating myself when I was trying to visit him and had to use the GPS coordinates (long-press) of the location.  So, we set to the task of finding a way to get his house listed.

Attempt #1: Google Map Maker (FAIL)

When you begin researching how to do this, you'll run across guidance suggesting to use Google Map Maker to submit the address to Google Map Reviewers.  Once you open Map Maker, you'll see something like this:

Upon clicking the ADD NEW button, you'll see there are four options: Add A Place; Add Roads, Rivers, Railways; Add Building Outlines; and Add Natural Features and Political Boundaries.  Logically, a house seems to fit under "Add A Place."  Once selected, Map Maker asks you to zoom in to the area and position the marker over the spot.  After the marker is dropped, you'll see a pop-up asking you to identify a category to which this place belongs.  Going through all this, you'll see that there are no categories for residential addresses.

We decided to try neighborhood/community and see if the people moderating would check with the local post office for a complete street listing.  Although the community did get correctly listed, the address was based on the side street and the houses were not listed individually with the separate street names.  Tears...

Attempt #2: Google Maps - Report a Problem (SUCCESS!)

When opening Google Maps, there's a link in the lower right-hand corner as well as on the left titled "Report a Problem":

A menu will display offering choices.  You need to pick Address/Marker and drag the marker that appears on the map over to your house.  Once you let go of dragging the marker over, a box appears asking for input.  This is where you tell Google what the address for that location should be, and submit the report.

Attempt #2 took a week to get it resolved, whereas Attempt #1 took three months and was still incorrect.

Now I can type in his address in Google Maps!  

Happy Cartography-ing!