Google Maps piloting local recommendations in ‘For you’ tab, adds 3D layer control

Restaurant and place discovery is increasingly a big part of Google Maps. The service is now planning to integrate crowdsourced Local Guide recommendations in the “For you” tab. Meanwhile, on the navigation front, Google Maps for Android has a new 3D layer control.

Local Guides are how Google refers to users that contribute reviews, photos, and other knowledge (like business hours and closures) to Maps. There is an elaborate points and leveling system that nets various perks, with Google noting 120 million active members today.

Maps for Android and iOS already leverages a mix of editorial and algorithms in the “For you” tab. That feed will soon feature recommendations from top Local Guides. Google is advertising this new integration as a way to “Discover places from locals.”

People in Bangkok, Delhi, London, Mexico City, New York, Osaka, San Francisco, São Paulo, and Tokyo will soon see top Local Guides featured in the For You tab of the Google Maps app.

In those nine cities, you’ll be able to follow Local Guides and see their recommendations surfaced alongside other places in For you. The company did not specify what tier crowdsourced users need to reach in order to appear in the feed.

While Google Maps local recommendations are still being piloted, the Android app today rolled out a way to control “3D” building effects. The layers FAB underneath the search field has a new 3D icon under “Map details.”

Even when glancing at a flat surface, the 3D view provides a sense of depth and shadow. That said, it is much more apparent when viewing maps at an angle. The ability to disable the effect is particularly useful in packed cities and helps to declutter your screen of tall skyscrapers. The new Google Maps 3D control is widely rolled out on Android, but not yet available on iOS.

Thanks Jonas.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: