Update 11:30 8/2- I just completed a phone conversation with the CEO of TechPros who noted that they had the listings removed. The interview will be posted later today.
An alert reader, earlpearl, has noted that as of today at 6:30, Google had removed the offending listings from Google MapsThe event brought several issues with Google Maps into sharper focus. Firstly, it is clear that the bulk upload capability needs some form of verification process. If it can be abused, it will be. However the problem of verifying multiple remote locations is a difficult one. Minimally checking to see that the street address is a real one would be a start, although not much of one.
Secondly, there is legitimate need for many businesses to be listed without a real address. For example the plumber that does house calls but has no street address other than his home.
Thirdly there is the issue of businesses that serve larger geographic areas than Google Maps allows them to display in. For example the urban store that services the burbs or the regional rurul business that services a number of surrounding towns.
And fourthly, is there a meaningful way for large national chains with outsourced services to be equitably represented? Or should they be?