Google is looking to make its Apps more collaborative, leveraging more people to do some of its heavy lifting, and enabling teamwork through the cloud. This week Google launched the Regional Expert Reviewer program from Google Map Maker. If you’re unfamiliar with Google Map Maker, it’s an offering from the company where users can add their own knowledge areas to improve Google Maps.
With the new program, mappers Google deems “distinguished” get increased reviewing capabilities within their state, country or region of expertise. By bringing on local experts Google can rely on these users’ expertise to enhance its maps more accurately and quickly.
“Our Regional Expert Reviewers earned their appointed positions by making an impressive number of high quality contributions to Google’s base map, and by actively participating with Google and other mappers on our Map Your World discussion forums” says Robin Anil, Google Map Maker Software Engineer on his blog post.
“Much as Google reviewers are differentiated by a ‘G’ icon next to their username in Google Map Maker, you can recognize a Regional Expert Reviewer by an ‘R’ icon next to his or her username when they review your edits. These moderators are located all around the world, and the Map Maker team is thrilled to be working along such expert mappers to ensure our quality of reviews remain high in our ongoing effort to build better maps.”
Meanwhile, Google Docs improves collaboration with comment-only permissions. Beforehand, the only options were ‘Can view’ or ‘Can edit.’ With the ‘Can comment’ option, document authors can now allow others to enter feedback on a document without being able to change the document itself.
“Over the next several days, we’re releasing a new sharing option so that you can let people view and add comments to your documents without giving them edit access.” says Sarah Wu, Software Engineer on her blog post.
If you want to give comment-only access to your document, click on the Share button and just simply add in the contact you’d like to share your document with, and select Can comment. You can also give comment-only access to anyone with the link or via public access by simply changing your sharing settings within the document. To perform this, simply click Change in the sharing setting window and you’ll see options for changing the privacy and interactive options here.
With this new feature from Google docs, Users that have comment-only access can view your document and add comments throughout — without being able to change the content of the document directly. It’s another example of how companies are increasing capabilities for cloud-based collaboration, a trend that’s really taking off for enterprise apps.