One month ago, I gave a TEDx talk called “Wiretapping the Secret Service Can be Easy & Fun” at TEDx Kirkland.
Today I got word that SearchEngineLand.com was reporting that Google MapMaker will be taken offline because of increasing amounts of fake and fraudulent edits that they are no longer able to hide from the general public. In essence, MapMaker and the Google Maps product ecosystem is completely out of control.
According to Barry Schwartz, the author of the article:
“But these hacks and fraudulent edits have been going on for a long long time, it took one mans efforts, Bryan Seely, to expose these loopholes to the world to force Google to take down Map Maker”
The Google MapMaker team spoke with Barry Schwartz of SearchEngineLand.com and attributed the decision to take MapMaker offline because of various pranks and spammy edits such as Edward’s Snow Den in the White House and a Google Android character was doing its business on the Apple Logo.
I could not be more happy at Google’s decision to suspend their MapMaker product. Personally, this fight to get Google to acknowledge the problem even exists has dragged on for far too long.
It has been 1 month to the day that I gave a TEDx talk that specifically addressed many problems at Google Maps and other local business directories, and to hear that their decision has been attributed to my efforts makes the entire fight worth it. It has not been any easy journey, and I had to pull out some crazy tricks that I would not care to repeat to get the job done. Intercepting calls to the US Government is not something I would ever recommend, and the odds that I would have gone to prison are far higher than I wanted to think about.
There is still more to be done, lots more. My work is not finished by any stretch of the imagination, but if you would like to help, like this article and share it. The more people who can see the truth for what it is, the sooner we can put an end to maps fraud.