Google updates Local Guides with more perks and payouts for avid explorers

google local guides update maps
Twin Design/Shutterstock
Google is making some changes to its Local Guides system in Maps to encourage users to add to the service. Through Local Guides, users can accrue points and level up through contributions like reviews and photos of locations.

One of the more notable updates is that Google has added another five levels to the system. Previously, users would hit level five and pretty much stay capped there, but now guides can take it all the way up to 10. These higher levels will require exponentially more points to clear than the lower ones, which brings us to another change Google is making here: New rewards.

Google previously sought to incentivize guides with “early access” to new features and special perks from partners, but the latest additions to the reward system will deliver even better benefits to the most avid explorers. Reaching level four before the end of August will earn you 75 percent off movie rentals from Google Play and three months of free access to Play Music.

The way you earn those points is changing a bit, too. Being one of the first to contribute to a location will result in higher payouts — which will come in handy, seeing as how completing level ten will require a whopping 100,000 points. For reference, level five takes only 500 points to get through.

There’s also been a reclassification of the earnings for each type of contribution, like ratings versus reviews, answers, or photos. Under the new system, adding a place will earn you 15 points — the most of any single activity. A rating and review provides the second highest payout, at six points.

The new system will retroactively apply to contributions you’ve already made in the past, which means you could see your point total rise significantly post update. And if you’ve been a guide for a while, you may even rise a couple levels.

If you’re interested in becoming a guide, you can check out Google’s dedicated website to learn more and sign up. Google says the update is in the process of rolling out around the world, so it may be a while before it hits your account.


Where to buy the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e in the U.K.

The Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e have all been officially announced and can be pre-ordered right now, with deliveries expected on March 8. If you're in the U.K., this is where you need to go to buy one.

Learn to uninstall a Steam game and clear some space on your PC

Looking to learn how to uninstall Steam games? You've come to the right place. In this guide, we walk you through the process step by step, whether you want Steam to do it for you or handle the process manually.

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.

Clear up some space on your Xbox One hard drive for the latest games

Removing and reinstalling games on the Xbox One's hard drive isn't difficult, but it's a process that not everyone is familiar with. Thankfully, our guide will run you through each step.

Protecting your PDF with a password isn't difficult. Just follow these steps

If you need to learn how to password protect a PDF, you have come to the right place. This guide will walk you through the process of protecting your documents step-by-step, whether you're running a MacOS or Windows machine.

Sony partnership with Light aims to take smartphone photography to new heights

Smartphone photography is in its ascendancy, and a new partnership between Light and Sony hopes to lift it to new heights through the development of multi-image sensor solutions for smartphones. We spoke to Light to find out more.

Samsung’s wide range of Galaxy products means there’s something for everyone

Samsung launched a host of new products on February 20, with prices ranging from just $35, all the way up to nearly $2,000. This was not by chance, and the company believes it has something for everyone in 2019.

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. Google Pixel 3: Can Samsung beat the stock Android king?

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is here, offering modern specs, a beautifully high-resolution display, and an edge-to-edge design with a small cutout in the display for the front-facing camera. But can the phone take out the Google Pixel 3?

Protect your iPhone or iPad with the IPVanish VPN, on sale through February

One of our favorite virtual private networks for iPhones and iPads, IPVanish, is now offering a huge discount on its two-year subscription as part of its 7th-birthday promotion. Read on to find out more about how this VPN works and how you…

Verizon is launching real standards-based 5G in 30 cities in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs. OnePlus 6T: Can the Flagship Killer survive?

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the new affordable flagship on the block, but at $750, it's $200 more than the OnePlus 6T. Does the Flagship Killer stand a chance against the new generation of flagship devices? Let's take a closer look.

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for February 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are a brilliant combination of value and comfort

With six hours of battery life, an extremely comfortable fit, sweatproofing, and a very palatable price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are putting all other true wireless earbuds on notice.