Google’s Local Guides program for Google Maps is offering perks in a bid to bulk up the number of reviews.
Those who contribute reviews, photos, and other details to Google Maps can now earn 1TB of Drive storage, early access to new Google products, and other freebies.
You can keep track of your rewards level and add in new insights through the Contributions tab inside of Google Maps. Reviews you submit tend to show up right away, though photo submissions will often sit on hold and are reviewed by a human before they go live, just to ensure nothing sinister makes its way onto a map. Along with reviews and photos, you can earn points for correcting errors or identifying sites that aren’t yet listed on Google Maps.
Other perks include entry to a Nexus smartphone giveaway and access to product betas before the rest of the public.
The story behind the story: Google has long sought to build Maps into a full-blown Yelp competitor (Google once tried to buy Yelp, in fact). Google has made several reconfigurations to Maps over the past couple of years that highlight restaurants and other places to go when you’re on the town or traveling. The biggest missing piece has been that organic peer-reviewed experience that you get from Yelp. By peddling some free stuff, the plan is clearly in place to bring in more voices.