Google Maps Launches New ‘Area Busyness’ Feature

Keeping COVID-19 precautionary measures in mind, Google has released a new feature that will enable users to avoid crowds. This will be especially helpful during the festive season, when the streets are generally over-crowded with the celebrating masses.

The feature, which has been named ‘Area Busyness’, will inform users of the busiest areas in the city. It was designed specifically to allow users to check instantly if a specific region or neighborhood in a city has a higher human traffic than usual so that they can avoid crowds.

The new ‘Area Busyness’ feature is supported on both iOS and Android devices. Although this same feature had been had been introduced by Google Maps a few years ago as well, it is now being rolled out for all users. The ‘Area Busyness’ feature will work for regions with restaurants, cafes, shops, and museums.

The business feature has been available on Google Maps since 2016. It provides users with live information about the business of a specific place. All one has to do is tap on the particular location on Google Maps. With the new roll-out, Google has added indicators like “Usually as busy as it gets” and “Usually not too busy” under the names of locations.

“We combine live busyness trends from places in an area, like stores, restaurants, parks, cafes, and more to determine its overall busyness level. These trends indicate how busy an area typically is — and when it’s near or at its busiest we highlight it as a ‘Busy Area’ on Google Maps. To protect our users’ privacy, our systems don’t calculate busyness information for residential places like a house or apartment,” read Google’s support page.

Google announced the feature last month on its blog. It accumulates and analyses live business trends to detect the busiest location in a city or town. According to Google, the trends are based on the cumulative location history data collected by Google from users who have granted permission for it in their Google Accounts.

In a different blog post, Google further explained that the data collected is essential for calculating the standard business of a place on a hourly basis every week. Once the data is analysed, the busiest area is labelled ‘Busy Area’. Users can view the business of the place throughout the day by tapping on the label. According to Gadgets360, the features will soon be rolled out for users globally.