Tag Archives: Google Maps

Local Guide Best practice: Reporting duplicates

Image by Bru-nO on Pixabay

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect

When you come across two (or sometimes even more, but for the sake of simplicity I will refer to 2 in the rest of this post) mentions of the same point of interest (POI), you should report one of them as duplicate. You do this by going to ‘Suggest an edit’ and then indicate ‘Place is permanently closed’, whereby you select as reason ‘Duplicate of another place’. So far, so good. But this can still be a tricky thing to do, because you need to decide which of the two is the one you want to report as duplicate.

In some cases this is quite easy to decide: one of them has no reviews, no photos, and the pin is located 50 meter away from the actual location, while the other has 12 reviews, 6 photos and is located correctly. But in other cases, Continue reading

Local Guide Best practice: Find the right zoom level

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

This is one I struggled with myself quite a bit when I started out as local guide. When you’re walking around in a neighborhood, or explore one on the desktop version of Google Maps, the number of existing points of interest (POI) you get to see heavily depends on the zoom level you are at. Especially in urban areas, where there are obviously much more POIs than in rural areas, it can be quite important to zoom in an out at the appropriate locations.

I have no idea exactly how many different zoom levels there are, but I Continue reading

Local Guide Best practice: Submit changes one by one

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

Sometimes you come across a point of interest where several pieces of information are missing or wrong. Then you click ‘Suggest an edit’, make all the changes and click ‘Submit’, right? Well, my advice is not to do this, but instead submit the changes one by one. Admittedly, it’s a few extra clicks, but I have experienced that if you submit several changes at the same time and for some or other reason one of the suggested changes is not applied, none of the changes get applied.

And for those who are eager to score as much local guide points as possible there is another reason as well: the counter that shows you how many points you have earned always only counts to 5 when clicking submit, no matter how many suggested changes you submitted – just one single or 2, 3 or 4. Compare this to what happens when you post a review for a point of interest: the counter then does produce a different result if you submit a review that is over 200 characters long, as it takes into account the 10 extra points for a long review. So, my interpretation is that ‘Suggest an edit’ brings 5 point per time you run the module, not always 5 points per changed piece of information – unless you submit them one by one.

The original article can be found here

 

Disclaimer: the practices described here as best practice are my personal interpretation, and I don’t claim any level of official endorsement.

Local Guide Best practice: Choosing a more specific category

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

Selecting the correct category for a point of interest (POI) can be challenging. Sometimes there simply is no category label available that perfectly describes the main characteristics of the POI. An example from my own experience is a particular type of vending machine that you find all over the place in Belgium: one where you can buy bread. Some types of vending machines have their own category (such as coffee vending machine and beauty products vending machine), but not this one (probably also because you don’t really find these in any other country) – and neither is there a category label for vending machine in general.

In other cases the difficulty is that different category labels are available for what basically is the same type of POI. So far, no one has been able to explain to me the difference between a DIY-store and a home improvement store. Feel free to leave a comment if you can shed light into the darkness on this one!

Image by stratman² (2 many pix!) on flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The issue I want to point in this post, however, is that quite a few points of interest have a category which is not incorrect as such, but also not the best possible one. In almost all cases, the POI then has a general category, where a more specific one is available. Let me give you 2 examples:
* car dealerships: those often have the general car dealer or even garage, but for most popular brands there is a specific category: Ford-dealer, Volkswagen-dealer, Toyota-dealer, etc. (Google doesn’t seem to like French cars, though: Peugeot-dealer and Citroën-dealer are not available)
* sports clubs: these often have the general label sports club, but several popular sports have their own label: football club, tennis club, karate club, etc.

Adding a missing category or replacing the existing one with a more relevant one will bring you 5 points, so you should definitely take this into account when collecting local guides points.

The original article can be found here

 

Disclaimer: the practices described here as best practice are my personal interpretation, and I don’t claim any level of official endorsement.

Local Guide Best practice: Correcting pin location

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

Photo by Joey Csunyo on Unsplash

On Google maps, the placement of most pins, that indicate where exactly a point of interest (POI) is located, is correct. But there is also a considerable amount of pins which are not placed at best possible location. This can be:
* just a little off (in the middle of the road instead of on the building)
* somewhere more or less near to the POI (a bit further down the street, or at an intersection nearby – this is often the case when no house number was entered, or when the house numbers are quite different on either side of the road, e.g. when house number 100 is across house number 77, with 101 being further down the road)
* completely wrong (can be because a business has moved and the pin location was not adapted, or because a common street name, say Main Street, was used with a wrong ZIP code)

As you might imagine correcting the first type is quite easy, the last one quite hard – the ‘worst case’ I’ve seen myself was over 100 km off.

The best approach (when working in the mobile version) is to open Google maps in satellite view and zoom in until pins start popping up. If you Continue reading

Local Guide Best practice: Entering Opening hours

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

Entering opening hours correctly can be quite challenging the first time you do it, especially if the shop has different opening hours on different days or is closed for lunch on some days and not on others. The main thing you need to keep in mind is that you need to go through an ‘Add hours’ routine for each unique period of uninterrupted hours that the business is open – which can be just for 1 day of the week or for multiple days of the week. A specific example will no doubt make this complex sounding concept more clear. Let’s say a shop is opened on Monday and Tuesday from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00, then on Wednesday from 9:00 to 13:30 and finally on Saturday from 9:00 to 18:00. To enter these opening hours, you will need to Continue reading

Open letter to all business owners

Dear business owner,

As you might have noticed while observing every life around you these days, quite a few of the phenomena that have become extremely popular among a large part of the population (obviosuly including a sizeable chunck of your customers) are focused on sharing things – more often than not online. On Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter to name just a few.

A smaller group of people is sharing not only their personal experiences and the pictures of their pets (or kids, or food, or hobbies, or any combination of those – never seen the one with the cat seemingly playing the guitar being chased by the kid covered in spagehtti sauce?), but also knowlegde and/or useful information. Wikipedia is the obvious example there. But also the Local Guide initiative from Google belongs in this category: ordinary people all over the world Continue reading