Google Maps will now tell you how busy a place is in real time

So you want to head over to that trendy new taco stand, but you’re not sure if the line is going to be around the street corner.

Well, Google Maps now has the answer. A new feature the company highlighted on its Keyword blog now estimates how busy or slow things are in real time, thanks to Google’s data powers.

The Keyword

Google Maps can estimate when a store is likely to be at peak busyness.

It’s unlikely that this will be available for every single location on the planet just yet, but if you live in a large city where Google has access to enough real-time information your mealtime decisions may get a whole lot easier. There’s also a spot for you to update the information if Maps doesn’t have it quite right. This feature also lets you check in to find out how long people will typically stay at that specific venue.

Also, Google is adding extra detail for stores that might have separate hours for different departments. This way you won’t show up when a store is open only to find the hardware section closed two hours ago.

The Keyword

Some large stores have hours for different departments, which are listed inside of Google Maps.

All of these features are rolling out to Google Maps and search, which likely means they’ll be going live soon through a server-side switch.You probably won’t need to update your apps, though it can’t hurt to make sure you have the latest version of Google Maps and Google search.

The impact on you: Maps is already the perfect companion for hitting the town, but these features come at just the right time for the upcoming holiday season. If you like to dive into such products, it’ll be interesting to see just how accurate the data is and whether it can realistically tell you the current state of crowds while you’re out and about.

IDG Insider


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