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Google Maps Adds Features to Help Share and Discover New Places

Photo via Google

Google Maps today introduced three new features that simplify the sharing and finding of local recommendations and information.

“With all the change our world saw over the past year, people are relying more than ever on high-quality, updated information about the places around them,” director of product Kevin Reece wrote in a blog announcement. “Like if a nearby restaurant is open or if a local grocery store has updated hours.”

Local Love Challenge

Google Maps Local Love challenge

Photo via Google

For the next month, US Android users can join Google’s first nationwide challenge to rally “helpful reviews, photos, and updates from sea to shining sea,” according to the blog. Open the app’s Contribute tab to join the “Local Love Challenge,” then add ratings and reviews and confirm information about local businesses you’ve visited.

Each contribution counts toward a collective goal of updating 100,000 establishments—from your favorite bakery to the neighborhood hardware store. Google Maps will use feedback from this challenge to guide future campaigns in other countries.

Photo Updates

Google Maps Photo Updates

Photo via Google

A picture is worth a thousand words. But sometimes you need a little more information. “Like if a restaurant’s outdoor dining area is shaded on hot days or how crowded a parking lot for a popular hiking trail can get on the weekends,” Reece said. “At other times, you might just want to share a helpful tip on Google Maps without having to leave a rating or a review.”

With that in mind, the company is rolling out new photo updates consisting of a snapshot with a short text description. Housed in the Updates tab, you’ll find images from merchants and customers, as well as the option to add your own. Tap the “upload a photo update” button, choose your pictures, write a few words, and post. There is no limit to the number of photo updates you can share.

Report Road Changes

Google is putting the power of Maps in your hands by making it easier to report road changes with an immersive desktop editing tool. When you spot a road missing from maps.google.com, just click on the side menu, tap “Edit the map,” and select “Missing road.” Draw lines, rename streets, change lane directionality, and realign or delete incorrect paths.

“You can even let us know if a road is closed with details like dates, reasons, and directions,” the blog said. “To make sure the suggestions and edits are accurate, we’ll vet contributed road updates before publishing them.” The feature is rolling out in more than 80 countries over the coming months.

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