Google's new Local Guides points system makes leaving reviews worth your time

Google Local Guides were introduced in 2014 to help foster a giant community of local reviewers who just know where all the best stuff is. When you sign up to be a Local Guide, every contribution helps you rack up points towards unlocking other elements of the service inside Google Maps. Over the next few days, Google will introduce a new points system to Local Guides to help unlock other types of goodies and hopefully encourage the proliferation of more reviews.

Certain kinds of contributions that have a higher impact for Google Maps users—like being the first to add a place to the map or leaving a review—earn you more points. In addition, Local Guides now earn points for rating places and checking facts from other community members. All points earned are shown immediately after each contribution, and are visible in the "contribute" tab.

Google has also added five new levels to Local Guides, in addition to adding badges for those who are heavy contributors.

We've added five new levels to Local Guides, bringing the total number from 5 to 10. For levels 4-10, we've designed unique badges, giving guides at higher levels a new way to be recognized for their contributions, and helping users quickly identify the Local Guides who contribute the most. These badges will appear next to each Local Guides' profile picture in Google Maps.

If you're a Level 2 Local Guide, you can enjoy early access to the new features. In select countries, Level 4-10 Local Guides can redeem a three-month Google Play Music subscription and 75% off digital rentals in the Play Movie store.

Florence Ion

Florence Ion was formerly an editor and columnist at Android Central. She writes about Android-powered devices of all types and explores their usefulness in her everyday life. You can follow her on Twitter or watch her Tuesday nights on All About Android.