The latest iteration of Google Maps is slated to launch this summer, TechCrunch reported, with a slew of new features that tie into exploring surroundings, rather than just focusing on getting from here to there.
The tech trade publication wrote on Friday (May 11) that the forthcoming exploration tools are geared toward personalization, aided by artificial intelligence. The tried and true features, focused on getting the routes that take users from point A to B, will still remain in place.
Beyond that, Senior Product Manager for Google Maps Sophia Lin, said, “About a year ago, when we started to talk to users, one of the things we asked them was: how can we really help you? What else do you want Google Maps to do? And one of the overwhelming answers that we got back was just really a lot of requests around helping users explore an area, help me decide where to go.”
In the upcoming Maps — to be made available through iOS and Android — a new tab titled “For You” will offer up a news feed that will offer users recommendations. As TechCrunch put it, users will be able to “follow” locations, including neighborhoods and cities, with an eye on an experience akin to social networking. Updates will come through the feed. There is also a “Foodie List” and “Trending This Week” list — the former is based on what has been billed as “an anonymized cohort analysis” that looks at where people are headed in an effort to predict trends.
“People had problems finding out what’s new,” said Lin to TechCrunch. “Sometimes you are really lucky and you’re walking down the street and stumble across something, but oftentimes that’s not the case and you find out about something six months after it opened, so what we started looking into was can we understand, from anonymized population dynamics, what places are trending, what are the places that people are going.”
TechCrunch added that the new version of Maps will also offer lists of Michelin-starred restaurants and, separately, “your match” ratings that show personalized scores in an effort to match eateries with a user’s preferences.