IRS agents won't ask you to pay back taxes with iTunes gift cards, and unverified images on a Google Maps listing don't necessarily represent the business owner — what seems like common sense to you and I can end up causing a lot of pain and anguish to less discerning individuals. Twitter user @DrunkenPandaman stumbled upon one such instance today, where the Google Maps listings of liquor stores across India are being flooded with thousands of images having phone numbers on them, seemingly promising home delivery for an advance payment — an obvious scam, that seems to be working. Read More
Local Guides — the name for prolific contributors to Google Maps — get occasional perks from big G after all the photos and reviews they submit. The latest benefit is a three-month membership to Google One, which includes 100 GB of storage (in addition to the other membership perks like occasional credits, discounts, and extra support). The only catch seems to be that not everyone is getting this offer, and it can't always be redeemed. Read More
You might have received notifications from Google Maps for the last few months, asking you some information about places you've visited. For example, after I left McDonalds a few days ago Google Maps asked me if it was a "good place for parties" (I guess?). Answering those questions gets you points on Google Maps' Local Guide program, and after accumulating enough points, you can level up.
I myself am just a Level 2 'Local Guide', but Google has released new features to Level 4+ guides. Numerous people have sent us tips about a new 'Improve the map near you' section on the Contribute tab. It asks guides to fill in information about locations with little info already on Google Maps, as well as verify existing Google Maps data. Read More
If you've been using Google Maps in the past couple of days, there are two changes that you may have noticed, or not depending on how lucky you are with server-side switches. The first one is purely cosmetic and the second is something Local Guides and sticklers for accuracy will enjoy.
The location indicator in Google Maps is seeing a small aesthetic change. Instead of the arrow pointer, some users are getting a widening gradient spray. It serves the same purpose, but might be more accurate in saying the general direction you're pointing at by broadening a little bit the field and not trying to pinpoint it precisely. Read More