Google introduced a feature that lets you to see the popular times of businesses and destinations in Search and Maps last year, and today that feature is getting a really cool addition: the ability to see the relative popularity of a given place in live time. Google also says it is adding the ability to see how long people usually stay at a given location as well as more specific business hours…
The first addition here is definitely the coolest; using its data, Google can give you a heads up on just how busy the place you’re considering going to currently is. I can see this being super helpful in deciding things like where to go eat or whether or not you want to spend the time stopping at the bank on the way home from work.
Secondly, Google is introducing a feature to Maps and Search that will let you better plan your itinerary. Soon, you’ll be able to see how long people typically stay at a given place. You can see this in the above example, where the page says “People typically spend 10-45 minutes here”.
Lastly, Google says that it’s — finally, is this worth a finally? — adding the ability for business to add hours for businesses within those businesses. The ability to check business hours on Google has been really useful since it became available, but one of its fallbacks was that you could check hours for the grocery store, but not necessarily the pharmacy within the grocery store. Now you can.
I’m not seeing any of these changes live quite yet, but they should be enabled soon — likely by a server-side switch.