My experience on becoming a local guide on Google Maps
Last updated: Apr 29, 2019
I used to read and see if a restaurant has good ratings or not. If not then I just decide not to go. There are so many restaurants and sometimes it’s worth to know if a restaurant is good or not beforehand. User reviews are one of the criteria. Though a lot of reviews are subjective, if the reviews add up by a lot of users then it can be a good source of authority.
Yet I never imagined myself writing reviews on Google Maps. The idea of contributing to it never crossed my mind until I owned a Xiaomi phone which is operated on the Android One system. The notification system is brilliant and the design I feel is more convenient than my iPhone, which I had used for 3 years. One day Google Map detected my locations and restaurants and asked if I could give a review. I was doing nothing and decided to review it. It gave me bonus points, which are brilliant and it promised to give me a local guide badge once I reached level 4. In a few days the number of restaurants and bubble tea shops I reviewed reached 40. I became the local guide in a very short amount of time.
I enjoy reviewing on Google Maps than Foursquare or Yelp, though I can have discounts if reviewing through these apps. The interface of Google Maps just streamline everything and I feel it easier. A lot of reviews I wrote contain only 2, 3 sentences, like short tweets.
Then I realized one of the ways ordinary people like me can have influence is to be an active citizen of the community. One way to be active is to give reviews. Though I might not have obvious gains from doing this, I can practice my writing, pay attention more to how these restaurants serve me. Sometimes the owner says thank to me. This feels good.
Some eateries don’t bother adding their restaurants on Google Map at all. A friend of mine works for an eatery and the place had not been registered. I added it for her and now it has so many good reviews from both locals and foreigners. Contributing like this is a way to give back to the society, I feel.
Here is my Google Map profile if you want to know more. I wish Google Map can be a social network in which I can add friends too. I think it can be a potentially great feature because I can know what locations my friends have been to and if their reviews are good I’m inclined to go there too.