Earlier this evening, a new ‘easter egg’ was discovered on Google Maps, which quickly spread throughout the internet. The Android bugdroid urinating on the Apple logo was quite popular, but has now been removed by Google.
The unfortunate image was added to Google Maps through the Map Maker tool, which allows users to update Google Maps and keep changes in their local area up to date. The easter egg was added by MapMaker user nitricboy who apparently also uploaded another image close condemning Google’s review policy for maps edits, which has now also been removed.
Google did act fairly quickly, removing the offending images within hours. Mara Harris, Global Communications representative for Google Maps said in a statement to the Washington Post
We’re sorry for this inappropriate user-created content; we’re working to remove it quickly. We also learn from these issues, and we’re constantly improving how we detect, prevent and handle bad edits. The vast majority of users who edit Google Maps provide great contributions.
While a simple bit of fun this time, the potential for mischief with MapMaker could lead to serious ramifications by people relying on Google Maps. We now have the memories thanks to screen captures, and now we’ll hopefully see Google tighten up the controls on MapMaker edits.
Do you think Google should continue with fairly lax control of MapMaker to ensure up-to-date maps, or tighten controls?