Posted by Lior Ron, Product Manager

It's no secret that our users are the true experts on local information. Sometimes a tip from a friend or a friendly local can make all the difference.

Over the last year, we've been working hard to organize this local wisdom; we've sifted through millions of My Maps, KML files and other information created by all of you in the geoweb. Starting today, community maps will be available in search results on Google Maps. Now you can find cool places to visit, go for a hike, walk your dog, or take a date using the help of other Google users.

The blue markers ('community maps') indicate relevant user-contributed results for your search. You can click on the 'see more community maps' link either in the community box or at the bottom of the page to see more user-contributed results.

Sharing local information with other Google users is easy. You can create your own map and make it public or use KML in your Maps API site to help people find what they're looking for.