Google Maps offers three new ways to get updates from users

We have said it before and we don't mind repeating it; Google Maps might be the tech giant's most interesting app. And my has matured over the years. Remember when the app just helped you navigate from point “A to point” B? “Then detailed directions were added and Google quickly let the app become the place to find hotels, restaurants, shops, entertainment, and places of interest in various cities.

Google Maps now has 150 million Local Guides that we need more than ever

Google quite often adds new features to Google Maps and now relies more and more on users to provide information to the app. Anyone with a Google Account can add their knowledge of 200 million local locations in Google Maps. And it's the Google Local Guides group that provides information on a local basis to the app; there are now 150 million Local Guides in the world.

Google plans to update 100 businesses over the next month and explains how you can contribute to what Google calls the “Local Love Challenge”. Google says, “For next month, most Android users in the US can take part in our first nationwide challenge to collect helpful reviews, photos and updates from Sea to Shining Sea. Just head over to the Contribute tab in Google Maps to join the 'Local Love challenge' and add ratings, reviews and confirm information to support the local businesses you've visited, from your favorite bakery to the neighborhood hardware store. Each contribution will be taken into account in the collective objective of updating 000 companies. We will use the feedback on the Local Love Challenge to guide future campaigns in more countries. " 

“In 2020 alone, Local Guides added more than 8 million places to Google Maps, from local businesses and services to parks and squares,” says Google. “And in a year where we've seen a lot of changes, they've gone beyond that and updated business attributes on over 17 million places in Maps, like whether a restaurant has take out or is open for dinner. If you've discovered something new in Google Maps or found useful information about a place, chances are it is with the help of a local Google Maps guide. " 

Google also says it will add a new kind of content to Google Maps: photo updates. Thanks to photo updates, Google Maps users will be able to find and share experiences and highlights. A photo update for Google Maps is a recent photograph of a place with a short text description; no examination or assessment is necessary. You can see the latest photo updates for a location by going to the Updates tab when viewing a location in Google Maps. These photos could have been taken by merchants, customers and others. To add a photo, go to the "upload photo update" button, select your photos, leave a short description and post. There is no limit to the number of photos you can post and you can also see photo updates posted by others in the Updates tab.

While the latest new feature is only for the desktop version of Google Maps, we've included it in this story because, well, we're generally cool guys and girls. You can now report changes to the route by clicking on the side menu and pressing “Edit Map”, then selecting “Missing Route”. You will have the power to add roads by drawing lines, renaming roads and removing incorrect roads. Google will check for these updates before releasing them.

What's easy to see is that the global pandemic has made Google Maps more important than ever. Cities are changing with some places closed or about to close and new places are going to open soon. Whether it's a restaurant, laundry, or movie theater, Google Maps is the place to turn to find what you need. And as the world slowly recovers from the pandemic, local news is more important today than it ever was.

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