Google Maps only for the city?

Before the Covid-19 pandemic I used to travel a lot. Using Google maps to find the local hotspots and trying to avoid the tourist traps with Google Maps Reviews. So I started writing my own reviews and adding pictures. Besides being a traveler, programmer, tech nut and many other things I’m also a hiker and I hike a lot. I have tons of photos and GPS tracks of official and unofficial hiking trails, shelters and firepits that I would like to share. So a hobby project idea was born.

Original idea sketched on my ReMarkable

So I sketched out a simple idea on my ReMarkable of a simple website that would just log you into Google Maps, allow drag-and-drop of GPX and images files.

The mages could also be imported from Google Photo, where I keep all of my images and then placed on the map via EXIF GPS information. If a point of interest wasn’t on the map you could add it, for example a hiking shelter or a vista point.

The GPX files could add hiking trails that wasn’t on the map yet and give more people direction to all of the trails that are out there. My plan was to do all this via the Google Maps API but I soon realized that there was no support in the API for what I wanted to do.

I soon found that adding places via API was deprecated. And I couldn’t find any information about adding hiking trails or roads via API. So I figured that I at least could do a Tampermonkey or Greasemonkey script to do it from the UI. So I opened a nice hiking picture of my breakfast cooking setup at a hiking shelter that wasn’t on the map in Google Photo. Clicked on the map and got the Google Maps view with the point. Went for “Add location” and filled out all the information.

This spot is located in the middle of nowhere so of course it doesn’t have an address. So I used the address that Google Maps comes up with for the point but that got rejected right away. So no luck doing a custom client side script to add it automaticly.

So I went for the “Add missing road” that I have read about. I was hoping for a draw point-by-point but it was just a feedback form to inform them of a missing road. I’m pretty sure that I have seen a demo of this feature where you could actually draw this out but it might be the Android app, I use iPhone.

At this point I have around 500 photos on Google Maps with over 1 600 000 views, so I contribute a lot. So in my frustration not being able to actually add all the information and data I collect on my hikes I sent Google some feedback, I hope for a positive reply.

I’m not only a local guide and a programmer, I’m also a hiker. I have thousands of GPX files from my Garmin of official and unofficial trails that I would like to add but there is no “draw trail function”. Also I tried to add a hiking shelter at this location, with a picture but it get’s declined. I suppose to a none existing address, it’s in the middle of the forest, it doesn’t have an address. I would love to add all these spots so people can get out to these spots easier, how could we work together on this?

Hackviking 2021, disappointed hiker

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