Google Maps this week introduced a handful of new tools to help people navigate new norms, whether you’re returning to daily travel, learning to manage your time better, reminiscing about past vacations, or supporting local businesses.
We have spent more than a year with the occurrence of spaces everywhere. But when people start leaking on buses and subways, it’s important to know if your line will be busy, empty or somewhere in between.
Google Maps expands the masses’ predictions to 10,000 agencies in 100 countries, helping users decide whether to catch the next train or wait for a letter.
Launched in 2019, the prediction feature runs on artificial intelligence, user contributions, and historical local trends. Just open the app’s directions and search for the “What does it look like on board?” line to measure current density. Give back to other passengers by adding your own measurement: from “not full / too many seats” to “on capacity / no passengers.”
Google is also piloting the ability to see live crowd information up to the level of transit cars in New York and Sydney, with more cities coming soon.
Everyone can have the same 24 hours every day, but not everyone uses them the same way. Maps’ new Timeline Insights tab provides monthly trends on how to convey moments. “After living in a global pandemic, people have told us they want to be more concerned about how they spend their time,” Eric Tholomé, product director at Google Maps, wrote in a blog post.
Check the app’s location history to check which modes of transport you’ve used and the distance and time you’ve been driving, flying, cycling or running in recent months and years. You can also measure how long you spend in different places – shops, restaurants, parks, etc. – And see all the places you have visited, as followed by Google.
If you’ve been hit by junk food but are not comfortable jumping on a plane or just staying in a hotel, try Trips in the Google Maps Timeline instead. Android users can relive past holidays by visiting the B&B they stayed at in Tokyo or the Barcelona restaurant they visited abroad that semester.
For those who are ready to leave home and go away for a weekend (or more), Google makes it easy to export your favorite destinations – to create your own itinerary or share recommendations with friends. Manage data in bulk, inline, or with deletion controls automatically directly from your private timeline.
Google Maps has simplified its restaurant review process, and now requires users to share information such as price ranges or when they placed an order or delivery. Rate and review the establishment, add photos, and note what type of meal you received (breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner) and how much you spent per person.
The feature is live on Android for all US restaurants, and will soon roll out to iOS with more categories and countries.