user-generated content dissed by Google

About a year ago I began to explore user created maps at Google My Maps. The maps were easy to make — here are some of mine. At that time, it was also relatively easy to find user-generated My Maps. I say relatively easy because even though there was an option to search for only user-generated maps, the option was, well, somehwat hidden on the search page. Nonetheless, one could search for user made maps by keyword. If I wanted a map of Boswell & Johnson’s tour I could search for boswell and johnson and hebrides.

In early 2011 the hard to locate search option disappeared, but a couple of helpful individuals at the Google Maps Help Forum offered a snippet of code that could be pasted into the brower with your search terms. Using this code it was still possible to search for user created maps. But in late April, even the code was rendered ineffective by Google as well. A map user at the Help Forum said, “Well, they took the front end away, so it wouldn’t be long before they took the backend away too.”

See this presentation, which I created for a Connecticut Library Association meeting, for the current workaround.

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