By signing up to the Local Guides programme, you agree to be bound by the following: (1) the Google Terms of Service (the 'Universal Terms'); and; (2) the additional terms and conditions set forth below (the 'Additional Terms'). You should read each of these two documents, as together they form a binding agreement between you and Google Inc. regarding your participation as a Local Guide in the Local Guides programme (the 'Programme') and your use of Google’s products and services. Collectively, the Universal Terms, the Code of Conduct and the Additional Terms are referred to as the "Terms".
Who is qualified to be a Local Guide?
In order to participate in the Programme as a Local Guide, you must:
- have a valid Google account;
- meet the age requirements for your country; and
- have signed up to participate in the Programme here
Google Workforce for Education accounts that are under 18 years of age, organisations, brands and businesses are not eligible for the Programme. If you offer services for hire (such as marketing yourself as a Street View trusted provider), you are not allowed to bundle such services with your Local Guide membership.
Local Guides contributions and levels
As a Local Guide, you will be placed into a level based on how much local content you contribute on Google, including how many high-quality contributions you've shared on Google since creating your Google account. Level requirements and descriptions are subject to change, at Google’s sole discretion.
Contributions are considered 'High Quality' when they adhere to the guidelines described in our help centre or as otherwise provided by Google. From time to time, Google may elect, at its sole discretion, to promote your membership in the Programme, for example, by including Local Guide badge(s) or icon(s) on your profile or contributions and featuring you and your content in other channels related to Google and its affiliates/partners. Perks and early access to features are offered at the discretion of Google and its affiliates/partners. Individuals who do not meet any eligibility requirements specified by Google or its partners (for example, age requirements) will not have access to or be given certain perks.
Some Local Guides may receive invitations to attend special events held by Google ('Events'). At some Events, you may be permitted to bring a guest (as indicated by Google). Event invitations are limited to only Local Guides and (if applicable) their guest(s) who meet the legal drinking age in the Event city. You must share these terms with your guest prior to bringing your guest to an Event.
Events, perks and early access rules are subject to change at anytime and without advance notice.
Limited or no Perks
Some participants may be ineligible for some or all perks, including persons who are:
- residents of U.S. embargoed countries;
- ordinary resident in U.S. embargoed countries;
- otherwise prohibited by applicable export controls and sanctions programmes; and
- government officials, including (1) government employees, (2) candidates for public office and (3) employees of government-owned or government-controlled companies, public international organisations and political parties.
Appropriate conduct and participation
You must comply with the Universal Terms. By way of example, and not as a limitation, you agree that when using Google’s products or services, you will not:
- defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights (including the rights of privacy and publicity) of others;
- solicit, collect or require the personal information of others;
- upload, post, email, transmit or otherwise make available any unlawful, inappropriate, defamatory or obscene content or message;
- trespass, or in any manner attempt to gain or gain access to any property or location where you do not have a right or permission to be;
- upload, post or otherwise make available commercial messages or advertisements, pyramid schemes or other disruptive notices;
- impersonate another person or entity;
- promote or provide instructional information about illegal activities;
- promote physical harm or injury against any group or individual;
- transmit any viruses, worms, defects, Trojan horses or any items of a destructive nature; or
- submit fake, falsified, misleading or inappropriate reviews, edits or removals.
Local Guides must comply with any Event rules or regulations, as well as applicable law, while attending an Event.
Google may remove a Local Guide from the Programme at any time, at its sole discretion.
Local Guides must abide by Google's Anti-Harassment policy both as part of the Programme and at Events. Local Guides will be held accountable for the actions of any guests they invite to Events and may be removed from the Programme based on the actions or behaviour of their guests.
Contributions to Google Maps must originate from a single Google account to count towards benefits and cannot be transferred between owned accounts.
You must not at any time represent yourself in any way as a Google employee or a representative of Google or its products or services.
The Local Guides logo is a Google brand identity and is reserved for official use only. Do not use the Local Guides logo, pin or any other Google imagery in any of your online or offline materials without expressed written permission.
If you do organise or arrange to meet with other Local Guides, independently or through the Local Guides’ Meet-Up Site, you agree and acknowledge that Google is not responsible for organising, financing, supporting or otherwise facilitating your meeting. Google may, at its discretion, allow you to post details of a meeting on Google products or services, but such events must be clearly marked as not sponsored by Google. Google is not, in any way, liable for any loss or damage suffered at any meetings.
Local Guides Connect Content Policy
Local Guides Connect (collectively referred to as “Connect”) is a platform that enables people from diverse backgrounds to start conversations, share experiences, provide feedback and plan online/offline activities. In order to participate on Connect as a Local Guide, you must be at least 18 years of age. Our policies play an important role in maintaining a positive experience for Local Guides on Connect (collectively referred to as the “Services”). Please follow these policies as you:
- Use Connect to interact with Local Guides from around the world
- Share content such as posts, photos, videos, etc.
- Send public and private messages on Connect
- Share feedback and send feature requests to Google
- Use Connect to plan or participate in offline activities/meet-ups such as photo walks, food crawls, geo walks, map editing sessions, etc.
- Gain access to all/selected boards where privileged information may be shared
We depend heavily upon Local Guides to let us know about content that may violate our policies. After we're notified of a potential policy violation, we may review the content and take action, including restricting access to the content, removing the content, and limiting or terminating a Local Guide's access to Connect, the Local Guides programme and/or Google products or services. Note that we may make exceptions to these policies based on artistic, educational or documentary considerations, or when there are other substantial benefits to the public from not taking action.
We occasionally modify these policies, so please check here again for any updates. Beyond the policies listed below, note that several products and features may have additional policies and terms – please check the links provided for those additional requirements.
- Google Maps, Google Earth and Street View Terms of Service
- Maps/Google Earth additional terms
- Google Maps/Google Earth Legal Notices
- Google Maps API
- Google Terms of Service
- Confidential information: Local Guides may gain access to confidential information about the Local Guides programme or Google products and services before they are publicly available. Such information must not be disclosed without permission from Google.
- Illegal Activities: Do not use our Services to engage in illegal activities or to promote activities that are dangerous and illegal, such as terrorism, the sale of illegal drugs or human trafficking. We may also remove content that violates applicable local laws. To report content that you believe should be removed based on local laws, click here.
- Malicious and Deceptive Practices: Do not transmit viruses, malware or any other malicious or destructive code. Do not distribute content that harms or interferes with the operation of the networks, servers or other infrastructure of Google or others. Do not use our Services for phishing scams.
- Hate Speech: Our products are platforms for free expression. But we don't support content that promotes or condones violence against individuals or groups based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, nationality, veteran status or sexual orientation/gender identity, or whose primary purpose is inciting hatred on the basis of these core characteristics. This can be a delicate balancing act, but if the primary purpose is to attack a protected group, the content crosses the line.
- Harassment, Bullying and Threats: Do not engage in harassing, bullying or threatening behaviour, and do not incite others to engage in these activities. Anyone using our Services to single someone out for malicious abuse, to threaten someone with serious harm, to sexualise a person in an unwanted way or to harass in other ways may have the offending content removed or be permanently banned from using the Services. In emergency situations, we may escalate imminent threats of serious harm to the police. Bear in mind that online harassment is also illegal in many places and can have serious offline consequences for both the harasser and the victim.
- Personal and Confidential Information: Do not distribute your own or other people’s personal and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, confidential national ID numbers or account passwords, without explicit permission. Do not post or distribute images or videos of minors without the necessary consent from their legal representatives. Report a violation
- Child Exploitation: Do not upload or share content that exploits or abuses children. This includes all child sexual abuse imagery (even cartoon images) and all content that presents children in a sexual manner. We will remove such content and take appropriate action, which may include disabling accounts and reporting to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and law enforcement. Note that this policy may additionally apply to any content uploaded or transmitted through our Services. If you find any content that you think exploits children in this manner, do not reshare or comment on such content, even if your intent is to bring it to Google’s attention. Instead, flag the content through the ‘Report Abuse’ link. If you find content elsewhere on the Internet, please contact NCMEC directly.
- Spam: Do not spam, including by sending unwanted promotional or commercial content, or unwanted or mass solicitation. Do not repeatedly message people that you do not know.
- Ranking Manipulation: Do not manipulate ranking or relevancy using techniques like repetitive or misleading keywords, tags, message labels or metadata.
- Sexually Explicit Material: Do not distribute sexually explicit or pornographic material. Do not drive traffic to commercial pornography sites. We do allow naturalistic and documentary depictions of nudity (such as an image of a breastfeeding infant), as well as depictions of nudity that serve a clear educational, scientific or artistic purpose. Note that your Connect profile photo cannot include mature or offensive content. For example, do not use a photo that is a close-up of a person's buttocks or cleavage.
- Violence: Do not distribute depictions of graphic or gratuitous violence.
- Regulated Goods and Services: Our Services enable discussion of many topics, but we do not allow content that facilitates the sale of regulated products and services, including alcohol, gambling, pharmaceuticals and unapproved supplements, tobacco, fireworks, weapons or health/medical devices. If we receive a complaint that such content is targeting audiences in violation of applicable laws and regulations, we may remove or restrict the offending content or account.
- Impersonation: Do not use our Services to mislead or confuse Local Guides by pretending to be someone else or pretending to represent an organisation that you do not represent. Some products have additional guidelines.
- Account Hijacking: Do not access or attempt to access another Local Guide’s account.
- Use of Multiple Accounts: Local Guides may participate in the programme with one account. Do not create or use multiple accounts to evade our policies or bypass blocks or otherwise subvert restrictions placed on your account. For example, if you’ve been suspended for abuse, don’t create a replacement account.
- About Our Policies and Terms: These policies apply generally to the content that you post on Connect. Some Google Services have their own separate policies that can be found within those services and apply to your use of them. All Google products and services are governed by their applicable terms of service.
- Reporting Potential Issues: If you encounter content or a Local Guide that you believe violates the above policies, please report it to us using the 'Report Inappropriate Content' feature by clicking on the three dots on the top right hand corner of the post (or similar link).
Local Guides can partner with businesses to make their meet-ups more fun and less expensive for attendees. A business might agree to sponsor a meet-up by providing goods or services (for example, a discount to rent a venue or complimentary snacks). However, it's important that sponsorships don't influence contributions on Google Maps. Below are the guidelines that Local Guides should follow when hosting a sponsored meet-up:
- Local Guides should not accept sponsorship in exchange for contributions on Google Maps. For example, you shouldn't agree to write positive reviews about a business that sponsors a meet-up – or negative reviews about its competitors. This applies to the Local Guide hosting the meet-up and to all attendees. Attendees shouldn't be required to do anything for or on behalf of the business in order to participate in the meet-up.
- Local Guides should not accept any form of payment in exchange for hosting a meet-up in partnership with a business.
- If a meet-up is sponsored, the host should mention that fact in their meet-up description. For example: 'Jason's Ice Cream Shop is sponsoring this meet-up. They'll be providing ice cream for us all to enjoy. They understand that none of us is promising contributions of any kind to the business in exchange for sponsoring the meet-up'.
Photographic, audio and video recording release
By attending any Event, you understand and agree on behalf of yourself and your guest that you consent to and authorise the use and reproduction by Google, or anyone authorised by Google, of any and all photographs, audio or video recordings that have been taken of you during the course of an Event for any purpose, without compensation of any kind. All negatives, positives and digital copies, together with the prints, are owned by Google. Google reserves the right to use these recordings or images in any of its print or electronic publications.
Disclaimer of warranties
YOU AGREE THAT YOUR USE OF GOOGLE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES WILL BE AT YOUR SOLE RISK. GOOGLE MAKES NO WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE ACCURACY OR COMPLETENESS OF ITS PRODUCTS OR SERVICES. TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW, GOOGLE, ITS OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS AND LICENSORS DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN CONNECTION WITH THE PRODUCTS, THE CONTENT AND YOUR USE THEREOF.
BY ATTENDING ANY EVENT, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE ON BEHALF OF YOURSELF AND YOUR GUEST THAT ATTENDANCE AT AND PARTICIPATION IN EVENT IS VOLUNTARY, POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS AND MAY INVOLVE A RISK OF SERIOUS INJURY, DEATH AND/OR PROPERTY DAMAGE. ON BEHALF OF YOURSELF, YOUR HEIRS, ASSIGNS AND NEXT OF KIN, YOU WAIVE ALL CLAIMS FOR DAMAGES, INJURIES AND DEATH SUSTAINED TO YOU OR YOUR PROPERTY, THAT YOU MAY HAVE AGAINST GOOGLE, ITS OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS AND LICENSORS TO SUCH ACTIVITY WHETHER CAUSED BY THE ORDINARY NEGLIGENCE OF SUCH PARTIES OR OTHERWISE, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ACTS OF GROSS NEGLIGENCE OR INTENTIONAL MISCONDUCT AS INDICATED ABOVE.
Local Guides (and, if applicable, their guests) must assume full responsibility for any such risk. Each Local Guide (and any guest of a Local Guide) is solely responsible for his or her own safety and well-being while participating in or attending an Event, and is solely responsible for any costs incurred if medical treatment is necessary. At some Events, Google may require you and your guest to sign additional releases.