Updating Google Maps Local Guide at Bhatbhateni
Updating Google Maps Local Guide at Bhatbhateni

TLDR; Being a Google Local Guide (now a Level 5 – top level and Google Street View Trusted (SV|T) Photographer), I have not only helped those otherwise unknown businesses with their presence on the Internet but also landscaped the way people use to find locations or point of interest more specifically the Government premises. Precisely, new gaunpalikas and ward offices in Nepal just got listed in the Google Maps.

You can be a part of this beautiful opportunity (without losing anything) if you are willing to help.

I have been using Google Maps since time unknown (maybe starting around 2009). However, I have been a regular contributor to the Maps since April 2016. This has lead me to become a Google Local Guides (LG).

Providing at least one of the five activities namely, review a place, add a new place, edit places, take and upload photos of places and answer places, will make you eligible to sign up for the Google Local Guides Contributor. Head over here to learn more https://www.google.com/local/guides/.

Ekendra biking to take pics of temples for Google Maps
Ekendra biking to take pics of temples for Google Maps

Being LG is becoming more organized if you are thinking to contribute to Google Maps without being a recognized one. You can contribute but who doesn’t want recognition?

What do I do in Google Maps?

One of my interesting Local Guides stories is that I’ve motorbiked 35km in a rough terrain and hiked 3 hours just to take pictures of a remote village that now happens to be a resting spot for the mountain trekkers. And whenever I travel I usually stop to photogram and capture location of the place or the business and the point of interest.

I love to share those places which are in shadow zone, that have potential but are usually not much visited because of lack or unavailability of proper route and other useful information. I think every business and every point of interest have equal right (not sure if that’s the proper word) to be in the Google Maps.

Ekendra delivering sessions on Google Maps and Local Guides for Government Officers
Ekendra delivering sessions on Google Maps and Local Guides for Government Officers

I am a member of Nepal Local Guides, Pokhara Local Guides and Local Guides Connect community where we share experiences and knowledge of places in the Maps. As we all know that in Nepal, we have a lot of places to be added in the Google Maps or many needs to be edited to provide factual information while others need photos for their attraction. You can be a part of your local LG community.

There is much more to give. I have trained hundred of engineering students, ICT professionals, government officers – all voluntarily – to use Google Maps, to contribute to this platform, and add information plus pictures of these places. This is because we are using Google Maps so much – just to search where that place is or contact that place.

One of the challenges that we have now is mapping all those 744 new (independent) government units of the provinces so that the new governments could improve their service delivery approach and foster ICT4D plus eGov practices. Come, let’s add your Ward Office of Gaun Palika and Municipality including other important provincial places. I have trained government officials on this as much as I can (despite the Internet connection constraints.)

I have bought a GoPro camera (Hero 5) and a Narrative Clip (wearable camera) to ease my LG reviews including the photographs. I have reviewed about 500 businesses and places of interest; and my photos have recently received 2+ million views.

Here are some important links about my being a Google Local Guide. My 360 Photography and Street View Contributions

I’ve uploaded 1,208 photos in Google maps, 207 being the 360 street views panoramas. My photos street views photosphere have recently crossed a million marks and overall Maps photos have crossed 2 million hits. On Quora, my answers regarding Google Local Guides have received about 7k views- one recent popular answer is “What happens when you contribute to Google Maps?

Sorry #LGSummit2017 

No, I wasn’t selected for Local Guide Summit 2017 #LGSummit2017. My video application didn’t even received a single view that was uploaded in YouTube unshared (unlisted) – it was submitted as a part of the LG Summit 2017 application. Let me share the video application (60s) for you and here is extended version of the same (83s):

Last updated: May 22, 2017 @ Pokhara

Ekendra updating Google Maps listing in-store in Pokhara
Ekendra updating Google Maps listing in-store in Pokhara