What’s worse than going to the shops when they’re crowded? Parking at the shops when it’s crowded I guess, well Google can’t help you park but it can help you figure out just how busy many locations are. The Maps team announced last year a new feature that showed you how “busy” a business was on average across the days and weeks.
While that feature was a great indication it doesn’t account for sudden changes or unpredictable, or predictable, surges in attendance. Announced today and going live soon is a new indication of how busy a business is in real time. The new “Live” feature will show just how busy a listing is right now superimposed over its predictive busyness, letting you know whether to stay home or run on it. This feature doesn’t appear to be live as yet.
You may also notice above Google Maps will also tell you how long, on average, people stay at a specific location. Google also announced this as a new feature today, I’m sure I’ve noticed this before, either way it’s there if you want it, and unlike the previous feature it’s live on listings right now.
The last new feature may be a US-centric one. For a stores opening hours Google maps can now break down individual “sub-departments” if their opening hours vary. to be honest, I can’t really think of a business that has varied opening hours within their departments? If this feature could be implemented for a shopping center that could be interesting, however, imagine looking for the opening hours of JB HiFi at your local Westfield? I think I’d prefer to just click on JB’s listing thanks.
It’s unclear if all three of these new features will come to Australia, it’s a little hit and miss knowing what Google will let loose outside the USA, we’re already seeing the average stay length so that’s obviously here so we’ll keep an eye out for the other features as well.
If you see any of these new features of Google maps let us know!