Introduction – Google’s Local Guide
Google local guide is a venture started by Google to attract ‘local guides’ who are people interested in contributing information about their regional cities or the places they travel to, in order to spread knowledge and information about the particular city. It is a part of Google Maps and anyone from all over the world can become a Google Local Guide as long as they have access to a smartphone.
Who is a Google Local Guide and How Can You Become One?
You might be interested in spreading knowledge about your city on Google Maps so that a wide variety of people around the globe can get access to and can be interested in the particular facilities available in the cities. Irrespective of the city you can become a local guide and contribute information such as the particular food stalls available in the city, the types of restaurants, gaming facilities, shopping malls, museums, art galleries and all the various facilities available in your city.
To become a local guide, you will have to first register and show interest on Google Maps and download the local guide application on your smartphone or sign up on this link https://maps.google.com/localguides. Local guides take photographs of the places they visit and publish them on Google Maps. Local guides also rate their experiences in the places they visit and can also send a review to Google Maps on what they thought about the particular place they visited. The best thing about being a Google Local Guide is that Google rewards all the contributions you make with particular points that can lead to levels on your Google Map.
What are the Benefits of being a local guide?
You can get thousands of points for your contribution and help Google create accurate information and spread knowledge about your city. Some people get particular perks for their contribution such as a Google T-Shirt or Google Socks if you reach beyond level 3 or 4, and you can also apply to participate in the annual local guide event by Google in California above level 5. Google sends everyone a monthly email about their contributions to Google Maps in the particular month, which highlights how you can improve your contribution.
Personally, I am very active and have received many small perks from Google posted to my home address for free. I have reached level 6 as a local guide and was eligible for the event in California. It is such perks from Google which attracts people to participate as local guides in their communities. You can also meet new people and form groups in your city or contribute to Local Guide Blogs where you can write about your city to help other local guides.
Many local guides have also created YouTube videos on their experiences as a Local Guide posting many photographs, highlighting various facilities that are found in their cities from their favourite places to shop and eat, to the most recent events that they have attended. Google relies on the information you give them as a local guide to help millions of people worldwide which can be a very rewarding experience in itself. It can also look good on your CV to mention that you have volunteered as a Google Local Guide.
Some Drawbacks – Guide’s viewpoint
Although becoming a Google Local Guide can be exciting and productive, it is a voluntary cause that you will have to do with spending your own time. Although there is no pay, Google tries to provide some small benefits and rewards for contribution. If you have a busy life and cannot make time to contribute, then it would be difficult to become a local guide. You need to make sure you have enough time to volunteer and although there is no set time-frame, if you want to reach a higher level, you need to contribute regularly to achieve the perks from Google.
Additionally, some people have complained that becoming a local guide can become monotonous without much personal benefits. Some people also do not want Google to know about their whereabouts and monitor their locations, in which case Google has made it very simple to unsubscribe and delete the local guide account.
Conclusion about being a Google Local Guide
Therefore, being a Local Guide has many advantages and disadvantages. You will have to consider your own lifestyle in order to decide whether you want to become a Google Local Guide. If you are unsure, you can try it for a few months, or ask friends and family who are contributing as local guides. There’s also a lot of information on Local Guides online. The good news is that you can delete your account anytime and make sure Google doesn’t have access to your location if you prefer some privacy. The final decision is yours!