Google saThose wonderful photos you took of your Sunday Lunch as you gazed off into the harbour-setting distance of the V & A Waterfront can now be shared with the whole world and no it’s not through Facebook, Instagram or YouTube – better yet it’s Google maps.

Google Maps is everyone’s ‘go- to’, Capetonian’s there really isn’t an excuse to be late.

And Google Maps is giving social media markets real competition with their latest initiative – #LocalGuides.

Google recently took us on an exploration through the City of Cape Town over the weekend and gave us fresh eyes on Cape Town’s nooks and crannies.

Google Maps, the new ‘it- girl’ of social media:

We are all guilty of not using the paperback map guides – in all honesty who uses paper anymore? We are trying to move towards an eco-friendly system after all. With the innovation of technology constantly developing, Google Maps has created Local Guides.

Google Maps now allows users to contribute to the creation of these maps with photos, videos and reviews.

With a few taps of the finger you become part of the global Google realm! But San Francisco for free your so? Read on to find out more about this cool travel goal.

During the weekend we took part in the first ever local guide’s tour – consisting of roaming the streets of Cape Town and its secret delights.

As a group of six, we were provided with our own ‘travel passport’ for the walk we headed off.  Clues provided in the passport would tell us where to go next. We headed off from food LAB to Green Market square. Drums banging and African artwork littered throughout, the day had that real Mzanzi’ feel about it.

Here are the juicy details:

On Google maps we are provided with a handy option in the top corner – ‘your contributions’.

Click this and it will ask you to register to earn points. Once you have signed up, suggestions for places to review will pop up.

Let’s be honest, photos of food have become second nature to many of us as we dream of becoming societies best ‘foodies’. Uploading your latest #foodporn images to locations that you have visited can tally up points. Points are tallied up based on the number of locations you contribute to.

So basically you should be uploading not only pics of your food, but useful snaps of the atmosphere and anything helpful to fellow users, really.

There are five levels to being a Local Guide – once you’ve reached the top fifth level, that’s when you can apply to attend the Local Guides Connect Summit in San Francisco.

This all-expenses-paid trip has us drooling at our passports eager to get them stamped. The two day summit consists of workshops, guest speakers and tech innovation programs.

Details of the application process are here: Local Guides Connect

The application process is open to all level five users and consists of submitting a one- minute video sharing reasons for applying along with a short introductory statement – to add that personal touch.

This article was first published by Traveller24 on 6 June 2017.