Wisconsin Geospatial News

Is the Google Map Partners program in your future?


Ever since Google unveiled Google Maps back in 2005, I’ve wondered how government organizations can proactively provide their geospatial data to the company.  I’ve heard anecdotes of folks trying to get in touch with Google, only to run into dead ends.  Many are disappointed to learn that Google does not purchase data, much to the chagrin of organizations that operate under a cost recovery model.

Until recently, I wasn’t aware of the Google Map Content Partners program.  According to their Web site, the Partners program allows content providers to “enrich [the Google] base map with your own data.”  Content can be submitted in several categories: base map (vector) data, cities in 3D, imagery, Street View, and transit.  The Content Partners Help Center includes extensive details on how to participate.

If an informal poll I took recently is any indication, I wonder how widely-known the Google program is, at least here in Wisconsin.  I asked members of the de facto Wisconsin GIS listserv “doa-landinfo” whether they knew about it, and if they did, if they’ve used it. 

After a few days, I could still hear the crickets chirping!  The small handful of people that did respond said their medium/large municipalities submitted public transit data to Google.  But nobody indicated they shared geospatial data with Google.

What do you think?  Would you submit your geospatial data to Google via their Partner program?  Drop me a line and let me know.  I’m very curious to know who out there is using it.