The data on Google Maps is mainly updated and verified by a community called Local Guides. Google simply do all all of this by its own.
Local Guides program is a voluntary program where Local Guides are free to contribute to keeping Maps updated as useful for everyone at their own leisure.
Although there are no monetary compensation from Google, Local Guides do enjoy early access to new product features, coupon codes, meetups and various rewards from time to time.
The main event is Local Guides Summit which happens at Google HQ in San Fransisco where an all expenses paid trip to select members from around the world happens.
The spirit of Local Guides program is that the community is open for everyone.
Part of the community program is holding meetups of Local Guides to help grow the local community. New members can learn a lot from such events, get their doubts cleared in person as well as strengthen the bond between existing members.
I had the opportunity to host a Local Guides meetup in Ernakulam for Kerala Local Guides community.
It was a small meetup of 10 members and we planned a photo walk through Ernakulam Broadway after a short meetup and some discussions.
We walked through Broadway and Ernakulam Market as well as Broadway Synagogue, St Mary’s Cathedral Basilica etc.
By around 6 PM, we arrived at the Kettuvallam Bridge near Marine Drive where we watched the Sunset and had casual discussions before saying goodbyes.