Google City Experts

If you feel like a walking, talking Google search page when it comes to the city you live in, you may be able to parlay that into something great. Today, Google announced their City Expert program, designed for those who like to recommend great places to eat, sleep, shop, or whatever else is great in their city.

The program is meant for those who are heavy Google Maps users, leaving lots of reviews on local spots and uploading pics. If you’re wondering what’s in it for you, aside from getting to help people see the great things in your great city, Google is going ot take care of you. Participants will get free custom swag, Special online recognition (could be great, could be terrifying), and access to exclusive events in the area. The program is currently limited to the following cities:

  • Austin
  • Birmingham (UK)
  • Bristol (UK)
  • Chicago
  • Edinburgh
  • London
  • New York
  • Portland (OR)
  • Phoenix
  • Raleigh-Durham
  • San Francisco
  • Sydney

I gotta say, it’s nice to see the beautiful city of Portland, Oregon on the list, but I’m clearly partial. You can sign up for any city, as Google is sure to expand the program as needed, but these are the starting points. This is the latest, at maybe most salient step, in the long (or short, depending on how you view it) history of Google’s involvement with cities across the globe. What started as Google Local offices was quickly shuttered in most metropolis’ due to Google’s desire to head in a different direction, one which we’re now seeing.