After several very embarrassing Google Maps hacks including Edwards Snow Den right on the White House and Android relieving itself on Apple - Google has decided to temporarily suspend the automated process behind using Map Maker to edit Google Maps.
The issue is, it took these widely embarrassing and very public display of fraud going on in Google Maps for Google to do something. This has been going on for years and years. But finally, after one savvy local SEO named Bryan Seely made some extreme Google Maps edits to prove the point, Google took action.
In any event, here is what happens when you try to make edits on Google Maps using Map Maker:
Map Maker will be temporarily unavailable for editing starting May 12, 2015.
We are terribly sorry for the interruption this outage might cause to your mapping projects. Please bear with us and plan your activities suitably.
It leads to a detailed explanation in the Google Map Maker Help forum where Google's Pavithra Kanakarajan said:
As some of you know already, we have been experiencing escalated attacks to spam Google Maps over the past few months. The most recent incident was particularly troubling and unfortunate - a strong user in our community chose to go and create a large scale prank on the Map. As a consequence, we suspended auto-approval and user moderation across the globe, till we figured out ways to add more intelligent mechanisms to prevent such incidents.
All of our edits are currently going through a manual review process.
We have been analyzing the problem and have made several changes. However, it is becoming clear that fixing some of this is actually going to take longer than a few days. As you can imagine, turning automated and user moderation off has the direct implication of very large backlogs of edits requiring manual review. This in turn means your edits will take a long time to get published.
Given the current state of the system, we have come to the conclusion that it is not fair to any of our users to let them continue to spend time editing. Every edit you make is essentially going to a backlog that is growing very fast. We believe that it is more fair to only say that if we do not have the capacity to review edits at roughly the rate they come in, we have to take a pause.
We have hence decided to temporarily disable editing across all countries starting Tuesday, May 12, 2015, till we have our moderation system back in action. This will be a temporary situation and one that we hope to come out of as soon as possible.
While this is a very difficult, short term decision, we think this will help us get to a better state faster. More importantly, we believe it is simply the right thing to do to all of you, our valued users who continue to edit with the hope that your changes might go live as fast as you've been used to.
This is not an easy problem to fix, I wonder how much time it will take Google to bring this feature back. I certainly hope they don't bring it back until the loopholes are closed, if ever.
Forum discussion at Google Map Maker Help.