Google is finally making their Map Maker available to the USA for the first time, http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/add-your-local-knowledge-to-map-with.html.
Google says they'll post your changes quickly...after review. I'm curious as to whether their review is by a human or by software (e.g. 5 people changing a tag probably indicates something is wrong with the tag). I corrected their map once (missing onramp to the Fremont Bridge in Portland OR) and it took them four months to review it.
I'm left to ponder what this might mean for OSM. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I have a memory of Linus T. being asked about Linux vs Windows. His answer was something to the effect of, we don't care about Windows because Linux will crush it eventually. So maybe this is good news, Google can do whatever they want, and eventually their "location" energy will run out and they'll go back to search results. ;) Or maybe this is good news because the goal of open mapping is to provide easier access to more map data. Win again.
I do think it is inconsistent of Google to claim that it simply giving the world access to its data--in this case they're creating it.
These are my ideas roughly sketched out tonight. What do you think?