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Google Looks To Improve Maps With 300 New Staffers

Problems in Google Maps are well known by now. From spam to bugs to its lack of support for local businesses, we’ve chronicled (as have others) the bumpy road for the number one maps site on the web.

Today, TechFlash is reporting that help may be on the way. Google is using staffing agencies to hire as many as 300 temporary staffers to improve Google Maps. The job descriptions come with titles like “Visual Data Specialist” and seem heavily focused on improving Google’s map data. Here’s one of the job postings:

Job Summary: Visual Data Specialist

Specialist will visually review images and complete specific feature tasks using internally developed computer applications. Role may include hands-on QC, training development and knowledge transfer.

Responsibilities may include any or all of the following:
Quality Control all stages within the tool up to 100% of job:

  • Launch computer tools and capture data with exceptional quality and accuracy.
  • Ability to work on a computer for extended amount of time and stay focused on repetitive tasks.
  • Run QA tools and answer key quality questions about images
  • Data enter key metadata and other information as requested with high accuracy
  • Identify critical problems with images
  • Provide feedback and suggestions for improving application tools
  • Validate content for accuracy
  • Make outbound calls to verify data

Additional Requirements include:
Attention to detail and accuracy in data entry
Familiarity with computer programs, including browsers and other common online tools
Strong work ethic and ability to work with minimal supervision
Team player with exceptional interpersonal and solution-oriented attitude
Creative problem-solving and analysis skills

High School Graduate, some college preferred
Strong English skills; ability to read and write fluently
Previous experience with computer or data entry and processing
Ability to stay focused on repetitive tasks
Ability to communicate clearly, verbally and in writing

But this appears to mostly be an extension of Google’s recent decision to ditch TeleAtlas and go it alone for Map data, both in the U.S. and in Canada, rather than an attempt to fight spam or improve service for local business owners.

TechFlash spoke with Google PR person Jordan Newman, who apparently mentioned that business listings will be at least part of their work:

Much of the Google Maps work will be focused on data management, said Newman. That includes keeping current on new business listings and the latest information on things like bike trails.

How much of the job will be focused on data versus business issues remains to be seen.

The temporary positions are full-time, pay $14.25 per hour, and may last for up to a year.

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