Man, today was a whirlwind of a day! It started out around 5AM local time, when I woke up on my own and struggled to get back to sleep. After tossing and turning for a bit, I decided to get up and go capture the sunrise by the Ferry Building. It was a very nice sunrise and a great relaxing way to start the day. After meeting one of my coworkers for coffee and quickly checking out our new office space (we moved to a WeWork), I joined the other Local Guides at the hotel for breakfast.
Our sessions for today was at Google’s SF office off of Spear street, so it was a short walk for us from the hotel to their office. Once we all got off of the elevators on the 7th floor, we sat down for a couple of sessions before lunch. We first heard about a “day in the life” of a community manager for Local Guides (which was a really neat panel). We then had a great feedback/brainstorming session around various maps related features and had some great suggestions come out of that session. We then chatted with a couple of members in the community about their suggestions planning and promoting meetups. Finally, we heard from Anna about mobile photography tips which several of us were looking forward to (myself included).
After a light lunch, we piled on buses and headed down to the Mission district to do a “Geowalk”. Our team, Team Gold (obviously the best group there), got to visit a couple places before we hit up the closing party. We first stopped at Paxton Gate which is a shop that has a lot of neat and unusual things. From there, we hit up Southern Pacific brewing for a pint (they have a GREAT space to hang out there). Lastly, we went to the Cheese School of San Francisco and got a cheese tasting course by the owner (I learned a ton).
At this point, it was time for our closing party. Hard to believe we accomplished so much in the last two days and it was great to talk with other people while having fun with photo booths and bowling. During all parts of this trip I got to run into and talk with other Local Guides and I’m so honored/proud to be part of such a great group. We capped off the night with an award session and I was quite surprised to see my photosphere from yesterday (edited into a “Tiny Planet” view) win an award! You can check out the photo below.
I’m currently finishing packing up for my flight back tomorrow. I’m totally energized by this fantastic group and so happy to have new friends all over the world! The Google Local Guides team did a fantastic job with us rowdy people and I hope I’m lucky enough to attend next year.