How Google Maps is Using Generative AI to Find New Places

Google Maps is one of the most popular and widely used navigation apps in the world, but it is also much more than that. It is a powerful tool for exploring and discovering new places, whether you are looking for a restaurant, a museum, a park, or a shop.

But how do you find the best places for your needs and preferences, especially when you are not familiar with the area or have a very specific request?

That’s where Google Maps’ new generative AI feature comes in. This feature, which is currently in early access for select Local Guides in the U.S., uses large language models (LLMs) to analyze the information and reviews of over 250 million locations on Google Maps, and generate personalized and relevant suggestions based on your query.

You can simply type or say what you are looking for, and Google Maps will show you the best options, organized by categories, along with photos, ratings, and summaries.

For example, if you are visiting San Francisco and want to find some vintage shops, you can ask Google Maps for “places with a vintage vibe in SF”. The app will then show you a list of clothing stores, vinyl shops, flea markets, and other places that match your criteria, along with why they might be interesting for you to visit.

You can also ask follow-up questions, such as “How about lunch?” or “What about options for kids?”, and Google Maps will adjust the suggestions accordingly, taking into account your previous interest and the context of the conversation.

This new feature is designed to make Google Maps more conversational and intuitive, and to help you discover new places that you might not have found otherwise.

It can also help you plan your trips, save your favorite places, share them with your friends, and revisit them later.

Google Maps says that this feature can handle even the most niche or specific queries, and that it is just the beginning of how they are supercharging Maps with generative AI.

If you are interested in trying out this feature, you can sign up to become a Local Guide on Google Maps, and provide feedback and insights to help improve the app.

Google Maps plans to roll out this feature to more users and countries in the near future, so stay tuned for more updates. With generative AI, Google Maps is aiming to become not only a navigation app, but also a destination for discovering new places and experiences.

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Last modified: February 6, 2024

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