At Google’s annual Search On conference, the company announced seven new local search features and updates.
These updates will dramatically improve the way people explore neighborhoods, businesses, and restaurants on Google Search.
Local search changes that will be rolling out soon include:
- Search restaurants by dish
- Discover the restaurant’s specialties
- More support for digital menus
- Improvements to Google Maps live view
- Aerial views of famous landmarks
- Immersive view
- Neighborhood vibe checks
Read all the details about these updates in the sections below.
1. Search restaurants by dish
Google is improving its restaurant search capabilities with the ability to find local places that serve a specific dish.
The new search experience will allow you to enter a query such as “soup dumplings near me”, and Google will return a list of restaurants that offer it.
You can be even more specific with filters for vegetarian dishes, spicy dishes, etc.
2. Discover the restaurant’s specialties
Local restaurants usually have a unique quality that they are known for in the community.
It can be difficult to identify the quality of a Google search because the star rating doesn’t tell the whole story.
Soon, Google will help people preview and rate restaurants to better understand what makes them unique.
Here’s an example ad for a local restaurant with “People say” highlights at the top of the screen.
Google uses machine learning to analyze images and reviews to find what makes a place unique.
3. More support for numeric menus
Google is expanding its coverage of digital menus while enhancing them with rich visuals and reliably updating them.
In a blog post, Google explains how it can add more digital menus without any additional work required from restaurateurs:
“We combine menu information provided by individuals and merchants, and found on restaurant websites that use open standards for data sharing. To do this, we use state-of-the-art image and language understanding technologies, including our unified multitasking model. »
Google says it will showcase the most popular dishes and offer different food options, including vegetarian and vegan.
4. Live view improvements in Google Maps
Google is updating a feature introduced three years ago called Live View, which lets you navigate directions while looking through your phone’s camera viewfinder.
In addition to navigating from place to place, you’ll soon be able to search for things in your immediate vicinity.
Google shares an example of using Live View to find an ATM within walking distance of where a person is:
“Suppose you are going to an outdoor market and need to withdraw some money. With Search with Live View, simply lift your phone to instantly search and see ATMs in an area. You can also spot different places including cafes, grocery stores and public transport stations. We’ll show you a location’s opening hours and attendance, and you can tap on any location to view more details, like the services offered by the hair salon down the street.
Search with Live View will start rolling out in the coming months in London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Paris and Tokyo.
5. Aerial views of landmarks
Available today, Google offers over 250 photorealistic aerial views of world landmarks.
Google doesn’t list all landmarks with aerial views, except to say they “cover everything from Tokyo Tower to the Acropolis.”
6. Immersive view
The immersive view will allow you to go beyond the street view with an experience that takes you inside buildings and other establishments.
Additionally, the immersive view will show you how busy a place will be and what the weather will be like on a given date and time.
The immersive view will be rolling out in the coming months in Los Angeles, London, New York, San Francisco, and Tokyo on Android and iOS.
7. Vibe Check the Neighborhood
A new “neighborhood vibe” feature in Google Maps will give you an idea of a neighborhood before you visit.
Google will highlight what’s new, local gems, and what’s worth exploring.
Helpful photos and information from the Google Maps community will appear on the map when navigating the neighborhood.
Google says it’s using a combination of AI and user-submitted information to power the neighborhood vibe feature, which is starting to roll out globally in the coming months on Android and iOS.
Source:Google (1, 2, 3)
Featured Image: Lissa M/Shutterstock