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Google is rolling out 3 massive updates to its Maps platform, designed to encourage increased engagement from uses with local businesses and to help share useful information in relation to Google local maps. So, without further ado, here’s the updates and here’s what you need to know!

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1. Add Photos Without Leaving a Review

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The first of the new updates is called Photo Updates. Photo updates will allow users to share their experiences with a product or service without being required to leave a review.

Photo updates will consist of a recent image and a short text description – see example on the right.

The new Photo Update feature is very simple to use, just:

  • Select the location in Google Maps
  • Navigate to the ‘Updates’ tab
  • Click ‘Add a photo update’ button
  • Select your photo and write a short text description

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The Photo Update allows users to upload as many photos as they like in a single photo update and can be viewed in the same ‘Updates’ tab.

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2. Draw Roads on Google Maps

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The second update is the Google Maps Road Editor. I’m sure we’ve all used Google Maps at some stage, only to see that newer developments and roads have not yet been updated by Google. Or, just as frustrating, have faced temporary road closures on a journey when Google Maps lists your destination with no road issues.

Well, Google’s new road editor which will be rolled out this year will address a large portion of these issues.

If you encounter that a road is missing, you’ll simply be able to click ‘Edit the Map’ and select ‘Missing Road’. Then, you can simply use the desktop editing tool to draw the road on the map. The tool will also allow users to rename roads, change road directionality and realign or delete incorrect roads.

Watch this short video for how these updates can be made:

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3. Google Maps Community Challenge

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The final update is the Community Challenge. Just like the others, this is also another push from Google to boost the number of interactions with the Maps platform so that users can contribute a more photos, updates and reviews.

The Community Challenge is already live on Android in the US and will be for the next month. to join in the challenge, users can simply go to the ‘contribute’ tab and select ‘Join the Local Love challenge’.

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Summing Up

Overall, we find these updates to the Google Maps platform to be constructive as they align with Google’s core principle of providing users with a positive UX.

While no update will ever be perfect, we do believe that over time, users will take to these editing capabilities like a duck to water. Agree or disagree? Let us know in the comments.