Google Maps Update Wants Pics Of Your Lunch To Enhance Restaurant Search Results
Google has been steadily rolling out updates to its flagship navigation app Google Maps to add new features and functions. One of the recent navigation additions was speed limit signs for roads in some areas to let drivers know how fast they can go without a ticket. It's also come to light recently that law enforcement is using the Google Maps Timeline data that the search giant stores to catch criminals and find people who might be witnesses to a crime.
A new feature is coming to Google Maps, and this is one that folks who enjoy eating out and sharing pics of their meals will appreciate. Google Maps is making a move into Yelp territory with the ability for users to upload images of their food to go along with restaurant menus that are already part of the service.
Some of the eateries listed in Google Maps already have a menu tab. Usually, when the user clicks on that menu tab they see a very basic menu offered with the name of the dish, a bland description, and sometimes pricing data is included. Google Maps has been spied testing a new "Popular dishes" option in the Menu page that aims to show what people are ordering based on photos and reviews.
The menu page has nested tabs for sections like appetizers and entrees right now. Images of food that people order are part of the new "popular" tab that now has first billing in the carousel along with apps and entrees. Word is that not all the menu items are included, only the items frequently cited in reviews that include images since the information is crowdsourced.
The dishes that are shared by users are displayed in Material theme cards that have a picture and links to additional reviews and images if available. To see the additional reviews and items the user has to click on the item. Users can also suggest edits if something is incorrect about the item. The Popular tab where the new crowdsourced data lives is not widely rolled out and is in testing on Google Maps beta channel now. There is no indication of when a full rollout might happen.