Google Maps launches ‘vibe check’ and ‘immersive’ features

This company is attempting to give reality a run for its money. 

New updates introduced by tech giant Google integrate more social media-like abilities to the platform, while also putting it in direct competition with physical existence itself. 

At a San Jose, California, event this week called Search On, the company announced various new tools being rolled out on Google Maps, including both the ability to use AI and the accounts of strangers to attempt to assess the present and predict the future — in terms of finding out which attractions are busy at certain times, for instance — as well as yet another way to explore the globe without leaving one’s bed. 

The first of these updates allows users to “get a vibe check before you visit” a new area by identifying the most popular spots, using information collected from AI and more than 20 million contributions users across the globe feed to Google Maps daily. 

“Say you’re on a trip to Paris — you can quickly know if a neighborhood is artsy or has an exciting food scene so you can make an informed decision on how to spend your time,” reads a blog post about the new “neighborhood vibe feature.”

Google Maps launches ‘vibe check’ and ‘immersive’ features
“To determine the vibe of a neighborhood, we combine AI with local knowledge from Google Maps users who add more than 20 million contributions to the map each day,” wrote Google in its announcement blog.

Discerning users have long been able to glean this information from Google Maps by giving something of a visual skim to a locale, but now there’s a more streamlined way to do it that’s being rolled out to mobile devices. 

The other buzzy Maps update is the addition of an “immersive view,” a long-in-the-works addition that uses predictive modeling to learn a place’s historical trends and, based on those, “determine what an area will be like tomorrow, next week and even next month,” the blog announced. 

“Need to find a bite to eat after the game? We make it easy to experience what restaurants are like nearby with the ability to glide down to street level, peek inside and know how busy it’ll be,” the blog offers as an example. 

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