Google Maps will soon show how busy a place is directly from map view. Maps already had a feature that let you see how busy a restaurant or other businesses are. Now, you’ll be able to directly see how busy a specific location is without having to search for it. Google announced that the busyness information will surface directly on directions and on the map. This will roll out soon to Android, iOS, and desktop users globally. In the coming months, users will also be able to use Live View, a feature that uses AR to help you find your way around a city, to learn more about a business, restaurant, or store.
The search giant announced new improvements for Google Maps during its Search On 2020 event. Google Maps will put indicators such as “Usually as busy as it gets” and “Usually not too busy” under location names in order to help people make more informed decisions in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The busyness feature, that allows users to see how busy a place is, had launched back in 2016. Google said that engagement with it rose 50 percent between March and May of this year.
Google said that it was working on expanding live busyness information to more places around the world and is on track to increase global coverage by five times compared to June 2020. The expansion will include more outdoor areas like beaches and parks, and more essential places such as grocery stores, gas stations, laundromats, and pharmacies.
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The tech giant explained that it has been favouring more recent data from the past four to six weeks, in order to quickly adapt to changing patterns for popular times and live busyness location of a place, keeping COVID-19 and social distancing norms in mind.
Android and iOS users will soon be able to use the Live View feature on Google Maps to learn more about a business. If you’re walking around a neighbourhood and a store catches your attention, you can use Live View to quickly learn if it’s open, how busy it is, health and safety information about it if available, and its star rating, just by pointing your phone camera towards it. Live View only works on AR-compatible phones.
Google had introduced Live View for Maps, which uses AR to help navigate users better. Now, Google will be pairing the same technology with helpful information about a place in Live View, using arrows and directions overlayed on the screen. The search giant had announced earlier this month that iPhone and Android users will soon get to experience an updated Live View while location sharing.