We can all edit Google Maps, but he can make it stick - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

We can all edit Google Maps, but he can make it stick

Chad Richey is in control. Chad Richey is in control.
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

There is a man in Tyler that has the power to change the United States, and has permission to do so.

Of course he can only change the Google map of the U.S. But that’s still a pretty big deal considering how often most of us use Google Maps.

We met up with Chad Richey, official Google Map Editor.

Chad works at Genesis in Tyler. They develop software like PULSE which tracks emergency vehicles and disseminates that information to those involved. But his hobby has landed him in a pretty important position with Google Maps.

“It’s a hobby that my wife may say has run amok,” Chad said.

He doesn’t get paid for it.

“It’s easy just to sit and spend hours not even realizing hours have passed,” Chad admitted.

As a Regional Lead he can log on from any computer and take control, making or approving changes submitted by others. He’s one of about two hundred editors who have gained the trust of Google by making hundreds of correct map edits.

They all take it pretty seriously, for instance if:

“A dispatch center is using Google Maps dot com to view that information then it’s important to be accurate,” Chad stated.

Chad’s been doing it so long he’s not sure how he got into it, but:

“I probably did get a wrong turn direction at some point,” Chad said.

That’s happened to most of us, but he can do something about it.

“Once I go somewhere and realize something’s in the wrong place I immediately go in and fix it right then and that edit is published and it’s live immediately,” Chad revealed.

Of course any of us can edit Google Maps, but only a Regional Lead can make it stick.

For the last three months Google Map Maker was shut down when they noticed a Regional Lead had made embarrassing alterations to the maps, but the problem has been resolved and you can edit again. But trying to label a parking space a tourist attraction isn’t going to fly.

Chad says he’s double checked by others every hundred edits or so for a few edits. He also can’t make changes of political importance like say the White House or Capitol. 
 

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