Google's version 9.4 update to Maps brings integration with a new Local Guides service. The feature will allow users to add and view reviews about local businesses and share them with others.
Local Guides feature was earlier introduced as the City Experts program in August 2013. Now renamed Local Guides, the feature takes reviews for local businesses from regular users and shares with others on the Google Maps app. The feature highlights the top reviewers and gives them a Local Guides badge once they reach 50 reviews, similar to Elite Reviewers and Yelp. Regular users will also be able to add images and edit Maps on Google to provide better information to others. Google says you should want to review places to “help others and support businesses” and to “be yourself.”
Google says that once your profile is in Maps, you will be able to see your review count and your ratings count. Users will be able to see how you stack up against other reviewers on the service.
Local Guides official description reads, "Local Guides, an official Google program, is a global community of explorers who seek out and celebrate local experiences. By writing reviews, adding photos, and editing Maps on Google, you help others feel at home in the world, anywhere they go".
Last year Google updated Maps for iOS and Android with Material Design. The internet giant also gave users the ability to add missing places and points-of-interest to Maps directly from their mobile devices. Users simply have to tap anywhere on the map and click on 'Add a missing Place' link and include Place Name, Category, Phone Number, and Website.
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