When I moved into the Proctor District in 2013, one of the first things I did in the summer was to deeply work through the Google Map Maker Process, earning an Advanced Map Maker and Advanced Reviewer credential. This has been since renamed and/or reconstituted, but more or less the same. What you do is either adjudicate lots and lots of edits of others, either approving or ratifying changes to known businesses, locations, features. Its hard work but keeps it clean. The locals who know it. I did 200 edits and originations, many of high quality.
The second thing I did was to CREATE lots and lots of records. Not just editing operating hours, adding website links to businesses, checking phones, and correcting location markers, BUT actually incepting and establishing businesses.
I did every single local business for quite some distance from here, and certainly checked many features in not just Tacoma, but Seattle, Portland OR, West Caldwell NJ and other places I have spent real time and thus know well.
A local business owner was very grateful to me, for making sure she got onto Google maps, thanked me, and asked me to check in on remodel in the next month or two, with a need to localize her.
One of the persons who works out of her location, B asked for my card and in the next month or two, more or less agreed to start something in mid-September, upon budget.
And much to my surprise, she called me last Friday, ‘David, can I come up and see you, and see your stuff?’ We talked for almost an hour and agreed to go ahead. I was totally delighted. Besides her great spirit and willingness, her trust and thirst to make progress really showed. Folks who listen are the ones you can help the most. And so it is!