At its annual ‘Search On’ event held yesterday, Google announced a new feature called ‘Neighborhood Vibe,” which is designed to give users a feel of any neighborhood they’re checking out right off the map.
During a press briefing, Chris Phillips, the VP and GM of Geo at Google, told reporters that the feature achieves this by combining AI with local content from Maps users, who add more than 20 million contributions to the map each day, including reviews, photos and videos.
“When you’re looking at the map of an area, we can highlight the handful of places that are popular in that area, so it gives you a way to quickly see what’s interesting about that area,” Phillips said. “It’s not just places to eat, it could also be a park or it could be things that the community that live in that neighborhood have helped tell the map what matters so it helps other people.”
Using ‘Neighborhood Vibe’, you can browse a list of key sites and businesses in a certain area to get a sense of the place, and use it to map out your itinerary if you’re looking for exciting food places or artsy locations.
‘Neighborhood Vibe’ will roll out globally in the coming months on Android and iOS.
Google also teased a number of other map upgrades at the event, including ‘Immersive View’, a feature that combines Street view and aerial imagery to give users a visual tour of a place, ‘Search with Live View’, a feature that overlays arrows on top of the user’s map view to give them directions in real-time, and ‘Eco-Friendly Routing’, a feature that lets drivers see the most fuel-efficient route to their destinations.
For developers, Google is also releasing ‘Advanced Markers’ in the coming weeks, a feature that will allow them to create interactive markers within their maps to customize them, and a new ‘Address Validation API’, which will help them identify address components, fix errors and augment addresses with missing data.
If you see something out of place or would like to contribute to this story, check out our Ethics and Policy section.