Google Maps has long been the go to site for travelers looking for useful information and tips on their destination. This has been a big project by Google that required thousands of resources to add information on local establishments and attractions, travel tips, and local photos that allowed everyone to plan a nearing trip. Just search for a local business or restaurant on Google Maps, and voila! It will provide a handful of information, including addresses, store hours, tips and reviews, and even photos. However there would come a time when Google would need additional help in keeping the information updated. They can’t have a Googler constantly checking out each locality just to update the information of the constant changes in the businesses and restaurants in one place, right? And with the competition only getting stiffer with Yelp, Apply Maps and Tripadvisor having thousands of members actively giving out reviews, the battle for relevant information is on.
This is when they finally turned to crowdsourcing – this time, Google needs our help as “Local Guides”, specializing in the places we live in. This is in keeping up with their ultimate goal which is to organize the world’s information, and keep that information constantly updated. And yes, they’re willing to give out handsome benefits to its Local Guides who are active contributors. It is a win-win situation, if you are a review junkie and are interested in joining meet-ups, that is.
They’ve actually updated and increased the benefits since last year. It can range from exclusive contests and 1TB free storage, to an all-access pass to Google summit 2016 (this you’ll have to apply for). You can also join local and online Google sponsored events and unofficial meet-ups. If there isn’t one in the city you’re in, go ahead and host your own meet-up – let Google know of what you’re planning,and you might be eligible for help with promotion. see the schedule or submit a meet-up proposal here.
How to amass points (1 point per action below)
- Upload Photos
- Share reviews
- Add new places
- Fix information like updated addresses and contact numbers
- Answer questions from travelers (easy as clicking ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to some questions)
Level 1 (0 – 4 points):
Get the inside scoop with the Local Guides monthly newsletter.
Join Google-hosted workshops and Hangouts.
In select countries, enter in exclusive contests (think new Google devices!) for Local Guides.
Level 2 (5 – 49 points):
Get early access to new Google products and features.
Promote your own meet-ups on the Local Guides calendar.
Level 3 (50 – 199 points):
Show up in the Google Maps app with your official Local Guides badge.
Connect with other Local Guides in our exclusive Google+ Community.
Lead the conversation by moderating Local Guides community channels.
Receive invites to Google-hosted events in select cities.
Level 4 (200 – 499 points):
Upgrade your Google Drive storage free to 1TB.
Be eligible to be featured in Local Guides online channels.
Level 5 (500+ points):
Be a Google insider, testing new products before public release.
The very top Local Guides will become eligible to apply to attend Google’s inaugural summit this 2016, where you’ll be able to meet other top Guides from around the world, explore the Google campus, and get the latest info about Google Maps.
Cool, eh? If you want to get the chance to be a featured Local Guide and join the Google summit, you can sign up here.
Are you a Local Guide for Google? Feel free to Share Your Story, comment, share your tips, or ask a question. Please also like me on Facebook and Twitter! Thank you!