Google Mapathon 2013 results are delayed due to concerns over data added by Survey of India(SOI). Check reports of what happened/problem.

Google MapMaker this year started Mapathon 2013 Contest in order to interest people in creating a better map of the world. The large goal of better maps of the world is achieved by adding data of what people know in their surroundings. Google has been doing this since a long time through a tool called Google MapMaker. Edits done by users on MapMaker are reviewed by Google GIS experts and then the data goes live on Google Maps for access to public.Google Mapathon 2013

The Google Mapathon contest in India was held from February 11 to March 25, 2013 and upon completion of this contest, Survey of India raised question over data added during the course of contest period. Survey of India officials says that Google didn’t take permissions before starting the contest but I say – SOI knows Google MapMaker is existing since years now? Why this question now?

Furthermore, Google response is appreciated as they responded to make local data accessible to every Indian. Google Maps/MapMaker has all the respective applicable laws and Google takes security very seriously. From the data available online, it looks like – Survey of India is only interrupting things largely.

Finally it looks like that India Government doesn’t want to improve or provide open access to people about Maps of India. They say its their policy but I see many people unhappy responses over the Survey of India Facebook page.

The email from Google MapMaker Team reads like this –

Dear Mapathon participants –

It is the 24th of July and all of us are eagerly looking forward to announcing the winners of our first ever nationwide Mapathon! We are eager to recognize the winners while celebrating the work done by all of you as a large community that cares for your neighborhoods. However, we are sorry to inform you that we all have to wait just a bit longer for reasons explained below.

As you may know, towards the end of the Mapathon, the Survey Of India (SOI) had expressed concerns over the data added during the contest. Specifically, the SOI wanted to review the data that was added during the Mapathon to make sure that it is safe to publish without revealing information that it considers sensitive. Towards this end, we had provided them the data that was added during the Mapathon, but have not yet heard back.

Since we can move forward only after receiving their approval, we are unfortunately not in a position to announce the results of the Mapathon yet, as originally planned. When we do hear back from the SOI, we will announce the results of the contest.

We feel your disappointment. Indeed, we were hoping that we would be in a position to announce our winners today, which is the reason we did not pro-actively put out any notification about a potential delay. We will continue to persistently follow up with SOI and hope to announce the results at the earliest.

The Mapathon 2013 Team

Img Credit – Google Mapathon Facebook Page