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.

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