Google expanded the Local Guides program from its initial review focused emphasis and has been encouraging other types of engagements with Google Maps.
in November they started giving Local Guide points for photos uploaded, and listings edited. They even have offered Regional Lead status in MapMaker to them.
The program was introduced in January of last year and while it is similar to Yelp’s Elite program, I have argued that it comes with a distinctive Google flavor. Google has managed to engage a very large number of trusted users to actively improve Google Maps and they have done so at very, very low costs and huge scale.
And not only has it been at low cost but it has saved Google time and money finding trusted beta testers and MapMaker editors. They make those seem like benefits to the users. I also get 1 terabyte of free storage. I am not sure the incremental cost of that to Google but it has to be very little.
In addition to writing the occasional review and editing locations, I frequently upload photos to Maps…. I just received this acknowledgement that my photos have been seen 500,000 times.Google Incentivizes Local Guides with Gamification and Kudos by Mike Blumenthal