I used to mark some places, review them and make my own map in google maps before some years just for myself. At that time I didn’t know much about the map maker and other tools.
I remember there was map maker in google maps and I have marked some places using that map.
And as time went, while I was on google maps, and was editing something, later google mailed me saying there was a Local Guide meetup happening in Rapti near my location, but it was far from me.
I searched if there was any around Kathmandu, but I couldn’t find any. Maybe because I didn’t know what exactly to search.
One day, again I got a mail saying Congratulations you have got into Level 2 of local guides. I was amazed at first, I hadn’t contributed much to google maps but getting to a higher level was definitely interesting.
And some days later, I got an email that National Local Guide Meetup was happening in Kathmandu. Immediately after this, I joined the community and browsed more, and started grabbing information.
I was more than happy to find that there were many senior contributors in this field. I registered for the event.
I was at level 2, and in the community page, I saw many local guides were of level 5, so I also started increasing my points adding and reviewing places I have been and I know.
It has been more than 6 years, I am using a smartphone, and about 8 years of using a cell phone. I do travel to different places time and again, take a lot of pictures and keep with me. I didn’t know I could contribute my photos and information of places I have been to Google maps.
The meetup was on Saturday, June 3. It was to be held at Nagarkot, Bhaktapur.
My friend Aadesh and me went to Koteshwor to cath the reserved bus at around 8 am.
We were about 20 participants on the bus, and in about an hour we reached Nagarkot.
We dropped off at Peace Stupa and had some photographs.
also, We got Nepal Local Guides Badge.
Then we went to Peaceful Cottage and Cafe where we had tea and refreshment.
Local guides including Senior Local Guide Saroj Dhakal, shared us idea and information about Google local guides, Nepal’s Local Guide Community, what we were going to do their and more.
We also came to know how to write better reviews, taking photographs, and more.
Later at about 11 am, we formed teams and departed to different destination.
Our main aim was to Add, review and edit various important places of Nagarkot like hotels, resorts, cafe and more. Nagarkot is a major tourist hub of Nepal and locating all business hubs in google maps is much needed.
It was great fun, walking down the hill, adding places, their contact details, capturing photos, writing reviews and more.
I added about 12 new places to the maps and took a lot of photographs so that I could add when having a good internet connection.
Apart from contributing to google maps, we ourselves also enjoying the time. Talking to other fellow contributors, sharing ideas, and moreover, Nagarkot is so peaceful and naturally beautiful that we forgot the messed Kathmandu valley for a while.
We had lunch at about 1 pm. Typical Nepali khana, dal, bhat, tarkari was more than awesome. Thulung Khaja Ghar was really great. And the price for Khana was just 150rs, this was so awesome.
Before lunch, we played Boomerang brought by our fellow mate. It was my first experience. I was amazed to see it returning to the same place.
Later, we walked to Peaceful Cottage and in the seminar hall, one every team members shared their experience, ideas and more. It was a great time. I got to know more about mapping, open street photography, 360 photography and more.
I felt lucky to get ideas from seniors who were contributing for more than the last 5,6 years to google maps.
We captured some photographs and packed up to return to Kathmandu.
On the way back, we went to Nagarkot View Tower, had some fun there.
I reached back home at about 6.36pm.
To sum up, indeed the time I spent on this day was of great value to me. I was totally new to this community, all faces were unknown, had very little knowledge. But at the end of the day, I gained a lot of knowledge, got ideas to explore more and contribute more to the community.
update: Now I am at level 4 😀 . Check my contributions in Google Maps