Google Maps: How Busy is This Restaurant?

posted by Lindsay -

So, it's date night and you want to see if your favorite place is packed before you head out and pack yourselves all across town. Now, Google Maps has you covered with a new update.

The App's Popular Times feature has been around since 2015, culling data from users who've opted in to Google's location history feature. ( Basically your phone lets google know where you are) The tool shows how busy or empty a business is each hour by displaying a bar graph in search results by phones are telling google they were there.  

But the feature used historical data, so Google Maps couldn’t account for special circumstances, like when a loud birthday party took over half a restaurant. Google added real time data to the web version of Maps in November, according to Digital Trends, and now you can get the update on your phone!!

With the most recent iOS update released Thursday , users will see a pink “Live” badge above the graph (Show Below)  for a restaurant—or bar, grocery store, or other business—followed by a description such as “not too busy” or “a little busy.” There’s also a live pink bar over the correct hour to indicate the fullness of the store.

As before, users can also see an estimate of how long people usually spend at a given restaurant, so these combined features should help predict traffic flow. 

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