Google Maps is letting users create public events associated with specific locations–a feature that could compete with Facebook events.
This feature hasn’t been officially announced, although it has been confirmed in the sense that there’s a dedicated help center article. People have also reported seeing it in search results already.
Events can be added to a Google Maps listing from the Contribute tab in the Android app.
From the Contribute tab, there’s another tab for events. Tap on ‘add a public event’ to start creating an event.
When creating an event, users can specify a name, location, start time, end time, category, description, website, and even add photos.
Google started highlighting public events in Maps last year. Until now, Google hasn’t offered a way for regular users to contribute event information to Maps.
Here’s what it looks like when a public event appears in Google Maps:
Google notes that this feature might not be available in some regions. Although Android Police reports that access to the feature is inconsistent even amongst users within the same region.
So it’s unclear who exactly is getting access to the feature and why. It could have something to do with whether a user is a Local Guide or not.
It would be a smart move on Google’s part to restrict this feature to people who have a history of contributing accurate information to Maps.
If everyone had the ability to add a public event to Google Maps it could really get abused in no time.