Google has brought into play an update for its local guide maps which would reward people who regularly review, upload photos and add information about the businesses. Google has devised the reward program in such a way that reviewers are assigned levels according to which they will be rewarded.
If the guides reach level two they will get early access to new Google products whilst the level three folks will get a badge next to their name, indicating a trusted reviewer. The level 4 is the stage at which you will be able to rake the jackpot in the form of 1TB drive storage for free, mind you this storage actually costs $9.99 per month.
Guides who make it to level five will be allowed to attend the first local guide summit once they garner 500 points. Google has not detailed the summit plans yet but is seems that the attendees who make it to the summit will be able to meetup with the other top guides from around the world and checkout the Google campus as well. The maps review program has always been a crowdsourced and voluntary program, so this comes as a nice surprise for many.
Google has been pushing the Local Guides program aggressively as it intends to fortify its local maps database in order to strengthen its position in the mapping app category. Although Google Maps has some worthy competitors it does have an edge over others due to its extensively harvested local database and the listing of businesses. HERE Maps for instance is arguably a better map for navigation but it falls short when it comes to listing local places. Google wants to fill in this void and real life rewards for the guides will definitely act as a carrot at the end of the stick and hopefully will help Google strengthen their localized database. The Local Guides program is open for all and you can sign up for the same here.