Google is looking to juice its Maps service up with tons of new data and it's looking to you for help. With warmer weather coming across the U.S., Google Maps is looking for updates on what stores and restaurants are doing with indoor and patio layouts as well as learning about new roads it hasn't caught onto.
When desktop Maps users report a missing road, they previously could only place a marker on where the road should be. Now, Google is making a road editor tool available where people can draw what the road should look like using a series of straight-line segments. Not everyone is seeing this new feature at launch, but it should come around to everyone shortly.
Those roads will be important as people use them to get back outside to spend. Google is angling to take advantage of the post-pandemic recovery with its new Local Love Challenge. Initially starting with U.S. Android users, people will be encouraged to contribute star ratings, reviews, photos, and updated information. With the help of local shoppers and eaters, the company hopes to have updates for more than 100,000 businesses this time next month.
Maps contributors are also being tapped to update how businesses are running with photos. When looking at a place, users can hit the Updates tab and see not only what the owner has to say, but photos and blurbs from visitors of what's happening with indoor seating, patio seating, or an expanded outdoor retail space among other things. They can also tap on the "Add a photo update" button to submit their own pictures.