What Is A Google Maps Local Guide?



If you want to contribute to making Google Maps an even better service, becoming a Google Maps Local Guide could be for you!


Whether you’re a world traveler or just stay local, you’ve probably used the Google Maps app quite a bit. When traveling to exotic locals the benefits of Google Maps is obvious. But even in your own neighborhood, Google Maps can frequently reveal things you had little previous knowledge of – whether that’s a listing for a cool, little-known coffee shop or a photo of the menu in the best restaurant in town.

Google itself of course deserves a lot of the credit for Google Maps being the awesome app it is. When it comes to maps, there no service better than the point-of-interest (POI) data in Google Maps.

Google, of course, gleans POI data from a number of sources – its own and third parties. But much of the minutia of POI data for any listing in the Google Maps app now comes from what’s known as User Generated Content, or UGC.

If you’ve ever left a review for a place in Google Maps or uploaded a picture of your meal into a restaurant listing in the Google Maps app, you’ve contributed your own UGC to Google Maps. It’s UGC that is one of the main reasons listings for various establishments on Google Maps is so comprehensive.

But what if you want to contribute more to Google Maps? Thankfully, Google has a program called Local Guides that can help you do just that…

What Is A Google Maps Local Guide?
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What Is A Google Maps Local Guide?

OK – first let’s get Google’s official description of what a Local Guide is out of the way. As Google states:

“As the people who bring Google Maps to life, Local Guides write reviews, post photos, and gather facts that make it easier, tastier, and more fun to navigate the world. The  badge symbolizes on-the-ground expertise and a commitment to sharing everyday experiences that inform real-time decisions across the globe. From photographing a must-order dish to adding a small business, Local Guides capture stories that lead neighbors, travelers, and everyone in between toward a better understanding of the places around them. The community takes that mission seriously.” 

Google

In other words: a Google Maps Local Guide is someone who is a stan of the app and wants to actively work to make its listings even more comprehensive for the benefit of all Google Maps users across the globe.

Now, before you get too excited, know that Google doesn’t pay Local Guides. Instead, it rewards them through a badge and rating system that signifies their contributions in the community of avid Local Guides. Local Guides receive various points for each Google Maps contribution they make. This is the point reward system as of September 2022:

  • Review: 10 points per review
  • Review with more than 200 characters: 10 bonus points per review
  • Rating: 1 point per rating
  • Photo: 5 points per photo
  • Photo tags: 3 points per tag
  • Video: 7 points per video
  • Answer: 1 point per answer
  • Respond to Q&As: 3 points per response
  • Edit: 5 points per edit
  • Place added: 15 points per place added
  • Road added: 15 points per road added
  • Fact checked: 1 point per fact checked
  • Eligible list published: 10 points per published list
  • Description (in list): 5 points per description added

The more points you earn, the high the level of Local Guide you become. The levels are:

  • Level 1: 0 points
  • Level 2: 15 points
  • Level 3: 75 points
  • Level 4: 250 points
  • Level 5: 500 points
  • Level 6: 1,500 points
  • Level 7: 5,000 points
  • Level 8: 15,000 points
  • Level 9: 50,000 points
  • Level 10: 100,000 points

If you’re interested in becoming a Local Guide, you can find out more information here.

And check out:

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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