The Google Local Guides Programme and why you should participate

Ever had to go some place new and needed directions from your location? I suppose you probably never used the Google Maps to get the directions or probably never thought of it. Perhaps if you had, you never knew you could be a contributor to the same Maps.

Local Guides Programme
Image Credit: Moveability.org

The Local Guides Programme or 'Local Guides' as it is fondly called is a replacement to the Google Mapmaker Service. It began in 2015 and has since grown to a community of content contributors of over 200,000 people worldwide. In Nigeria alone, there are over 5,000 Local Guides and users of the Google Maps. 

The contributions Local Guides make to the Maps are in the form of Photos, Videos, Edits (correction of information about places on the Maps), Reviews, verifying business information, answering questions and many more. 

Local Guides are a group of volunteers. I've had people ask me if they are Google Employees, and the answer is NO. They are not affililated with Google neither are they employed by Google. They are only volunteers with Google who assist with the development of the Google Maps.

Cross-section of Lagos Local Guides at a Meetup in Lagos

From time to time, Local Guides organise events popularly known as Meetups. This is to keep the community alive. The meetups could take the form of Photowalks, Geowalks, Map Edits or Community Service or even Beach Hangouts!

2018 Meetup of Local Guides in Lagos

P.S. In case you didn't know, I am also a Local Guide. You can send me a mail using the CONTACT button in the menu if you have any questions you'd like me to answer. I would be more than happy to help you.

2018 Meetup of Local Guides in Lagos

Now, to the benefits. Many people often ask me what the benefits are. Of course, as a volunteer for Google, there's a lot in store for you from networking with fellow Local Guides to attending meetups and much more.

Did you know?
You can also get to test new Google products and features before anyone else or before it’s made available for public use and download
  • You get to participate in Local Events organized in your city by Google.
  • You get a digital badge on your Maps Profile and officially become a Local Guide in your city.
  • You get points for each contribution you make, and as you contribute, you begin to level up.
  • You can discover new places, and unveil your passion for helping others.
    2019 Mega Meetup of Local Guides in Nigeria
  • You get a chance to attend Google Annual Event in Mountain View, California .
The Local Guides Programme is Google-sponsored and entails contributing to the Google Maps in 5 simple ways: 
1. Writing reviews about places and businesses on the Google Maps
2. Adding photos of places and businesses on the Google Maps
3. Adding new places and businesses on the Google Maps
4. Suggesting an edit on existing places and businesses on the Google Maps – opening and closing hours, services rendered, phone no, website, address, etc.
5. Rating Businesses and Places on the Google Maps 

Additionally, you can create lists of your favourite restaurants or other businesses and share with the public. There a ten (10) levels on the Local Guides Platform. More information on the Local Guides website below. 
We love to share, we love to help others, and we love photography!
Join the Local Guides Platform in one easy step.
Go to maps.google.com/localguides to begin or simply register using your Maps App in your smartphone. Available on Android and iOS.
Next, head for your Maps app in your application list either on Android, iOS, Windows or Blackberry and start contributing. Lastly, join the conversation globally at Local Guides Connect!

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