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Pretty much anyone who needs help getting to a destination can turn to the reliable Google Maps for aid.
But (and this may come as a surprise to some people) the service isn’t perfect, and one country where it needs additional data is India, the world’s second most populous state.
In order to expand and improve its service in the country, Google has decided to run a crowdsourced competition called Mapathon 2013, which launches tomorrow – or just launched today, if you’re reading this in India.
The premise behind Mapathon 2013 is straightforward: users residing in the country can visit Google MapMaker and add or edit landmarks, businesses, institutions, roads, and more. In order to get people more excited about the initiative, Google will be giving out prizes to the top 1000 submitters.
The top ten participants will win Galaxy Note tablets, the next 40 will get the Galaxy S II phones, and the following 50 will get gift coupons at Flipkart (an Indian e-commerce platform) worth 5000 rupees, or roughly $92. The other 900 participants will win t-shirts, which the top 100 submitters will also receive.
As we previously reported, maps of India seem to be generally a little out of date, so it’s a great idea on Google’s part to try to improve them, even if it ultimately benefits the company, too. Whether or not the reward levels that Google has assigned to the competition are worthwhile, however, is a separate issue, and one that can’t really be addressed until Mapathon ends.
If the bottom 900 contributors (or at least the several hundred of them) submit hundreds of edits each, Google may want to consider upping the reward to something more substantial for those active users. Bing, for example, pays Gigwalkers $5 for taking pictures of local businesses that will, at least presumably, make it onto the search engine and map. But, if the bottom 900 Mapathon participants only make a few edits, a t-shirt seems like an appropriate prize.
The contest will run until March 25th. All those interested in taking part should check out the Mapathon 2013 competition page here.