The Corp joins with Google to map Georgetown’s landmarks

December 6, 2012

If you’re new to the Georgetown area or directionally challenged, you can now check out Google Maps to find all the classic Georgetown spots such as the Exorcist stairs or Tuscany’s Pizza. Seeking to label the unmarked locations of Georgetown on Google Maps, The Corp and the Google Map Maker team have organized the first campus MapUp.

The process of labeling locations on Google Maps begins with students searching for prominent places on the online map and labeling the location with as much detail as possible. Jason Gerson (COL’14), a Google Student Ambassador who organized the MapUp, hopes to prevent new and old Georgetown students from wandering aimlessly around the streets of Georgetown looking for Sweet Green.

“I am so excited to see Hoyas helping to enrich Google Maps’ information about our community,” Gerson wrote in an email to the Voice. “We want our beloved campus to be accurately and comprehensively reflected on the map for others to explore, and this MapUp helps us get closer to that goal. I can’t wait to see all the new additions that Georgetown students will make through Google Map Maker.”

The new additions to Google Maps will not only make traveling around Georgetown easier, but will also ease the transition into Georgetown for freshmen. Adding the building locations for places such as the GOCard Office should decrease the number of confused first-years and parents navigating the Hilltop.

Using Google Map Maker, students can add or remove locations on the online map to reflect the actual locations of iconic and obscure Georgetown buildings and businesses. Places that students added to the map range from the bioethics library to a restaurant that serves alcoholic milkshakes on 9th St.

Gerson believes that the MapUp will complement students’ experiences at Georgetown by providing them with accurate directions to all the fun locations in the area.

“Our biggest goal is to help make sure that Georgetown’s students have a consistent experience on both Google Maps and the real-life neighborhood that they enjoy each day,” wrote Gerson. “I was so excited to see all the additions to the map that Hoyas made, and once they’re updated in Google Maps, I can’t wait to benefit from all the changes next time I need to find my way around D.C.”

Students have shared Gerson’s goal of preventing confusion, which might arise from smartphones giving incorrect directions to Tuscany’s on a Friday night.

“I think that it’s important that we have as much information as possible on Google Maps for Georgetown so that prospective students and parents can have as much information as necessary,” said Ellen Ebert (SFS’14). “I put the Bioethics Library on there, the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access, and the GOCard Office.”

Most importantly, besides the free cake and the 10 percent discount Uncommon Grounds provided for students participating in the MapUp, students actually enjoyed adding locations on the map.

Although students spent more than an hour altering the map, some Georgetown territory remains uncharted.Gerson plans to organize more MapUp events to add even more obscure Georgetown locations to the map. “I hope this inaugural MapUp is the first of many to come—I cannot wait to see students across Georgetown feeling empowered by Map Maker’s ability to enrich their community.”

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