Google has quietly added a new feature to Google Maps for Android. Called Leaderboard, it lets users earn points for each check in to a location via Google Latitude.
The feature is similar to Foursquare, though Google didn’t comment even on the addition of Leaderboard, without mentioning it is to compete with Foursquare. Leaderboard is available on the latest version of Google Maps. Google only unveiled it has fixed bugs and has “improved battery performance for Latitude and Location History users.”
Leaderboard is tied up with your Google+ account to connect you with your friends. On a Place page, you can see which status level you’ve achieved based on your check-in frequency. The status starts as Visitor and then progresses to Regular, VIP and Guru. Additionally, businesses may customize the names of status levels and icons.
There is also a global page that ranks all users based on points from check-ins. The person with the most points earns a crown that is shown up above his ranking.
Check-ins default to share with your Latitude friends. This list can be easily modified to share your check-ins with others or you can keep your check-ins private.
In November 2011, Google has introduced My Location, a Google Maps feature that helps people avoid walking the wrong direction on city streets.