Skip to main content

Google Maps puts Local Guides front and center for top travel tips

For many folks, Google Maps is the go-to app when looking for things to do and places to go, whether for a nearby city or some place far away.

Many of the suggestions embedded in Maps come from Google’s global network of enthusiastic Local Guides. Today there are an astonishing 120 million of them, all adding reviews, photos, and other snippets of information for a myriad of businesses from restaurants and cafes to hotels and entertainment spaces.

Starting with nine cities around the world, Google Maps is experimenting with putting select Local Guides front and center by featuring them in Maps’ personalized For You section, accessible by tapping the For You button at the bottom right of the screen.

“People in Bangkok, Delhi, London, Mexico City, New York, Osaka, San Francisco, São Paulo, and Tokyo will soon see top Local Guides featured in the For You tab of the Google Maps app,” Google’s Austin Wells wrote in a blog post about the new feature. “When you follow one of these Local Guides, their recommendations will be surfaced to you in Google Maps, so you can get inspired with ideas of things to do and places to go.”

If a Guide’s suggestions happen to chime with your own interests and tastes, you can follow them to keep up to date with their latest reviews and recommendations.

Google launched its For You tab in 2018. The feature recommends places of interest and lets you save suggestions in a “want to go” list for a specific geographical area. You can also follow particular areas for updates on new openings.

Anyone over 18 years of age with an interest in the city where they live can sign up to become a Local Guide. The program awards points according to how much content you contribute, which can lead to badge awards designed to give you more status within the Maps community. A limited number of perks related to Google services are also offered.

Google is constantly adding new features to its Maps app. Just last week, the company announced it was making it easier for travelers to overcome language barriers by adding a quick-access translation feature for landmarks and other places of interest.

If you have a moment, be sure to check out Digital Trends’ freshly updated article offering some great tips and tricks for getting the most out of Google Maps.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Waze vs. Google Maps: Which one is right for you?
google v waze feat image

When you need to go somewhere, you naturally seek out the best route with the lightest traffic possible and fewest obstructions. Today's mapping and navigation apps are there for you. The two most popular apps for iOS and Android -- Google Maps and Waze -- deliver on that brief, presenting up-to-the-minute information, real-time turn-by-turn directions, and much more.

Google Maps and Waze are amongst the most popular navigation apps -- even among iPhone users -- because both are easy to use and consistently deliver accurate directions. So which one of these two Google-owned apps should you choose as your day-to-day driving navigation aid? Let's figure it out by looking at the two side-by-side, so you can see why of the two apps you prefer.
What is Waze?

Read more
New Google Maps features offer a preview of doom-conscious tech
google maps fire

If this last year felt a little more apocalypse-y than others past, it’s not without good reason. And as with every industry, tech is starting to take notice. As such, many of the new Google Maps features announced this week preview a tone shift within the industry. As technology plateaus, rather than shallow convenience, the focus appears to be transitioning to quality-of-life improvements, and hopefully, sustainability.

One element of our day-to-day lives that has undergone a begrudging transformation is grocery shopping. Once a universally beloved pastime (sarcasm), picking up the necessities in-person has been made even less convenient, and in some areas entirely inadvisable. For this reason, many of us have grown accustomed to picking up online orders or scheduling them to be delivered, and Google Maps hopes to further alleviate the new challenges this presents in a couple of ways.

Read more
Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which one is best for you?

Navigation tools like Google Maps and Apple Maps have changed the way we find places, explore local businesses, and share directions with friends. Both have a similar purpose, but you will find that there are some differences in their navigation tools and interfaces.

If you rely on an Android device, Google Maps is the only option of the two. However, if you own an iPhone, learning more about the differences between Google Maps and Apple Maps will help you choose the best navigation app for your needs.
Maps vs. Maps historical contest
Launched in 2005, Google Maps has been the premier mobile mapping service since the dawn of the smartphone. Apple Maps for the iPhone and iPad, on the other hand, didn't arrive until 2012 and for years it struggled with technical issues. These included wrong directions, lack of support for public transportation, and many glitches and bugs that made the service nearly unusable. All the while, Google Maps continued to improve and reign supreme.

Read more