ZD Tech: Google Maps wants to explore the soul of our cities!

Hi everyone and welcome to ZDTech, ‘s daily editorial podcast. My name is Pierre, and today I’m going to explain to you why Google Maps intends to transform itself from a pocket GPS into a real travel guide, aiming nothing less than to give you an idea of ​​the atmosphere of each area. visited.

It’s a fact, in its 17 years of existence, the mapping application Google Maps has been sitting on a goldmine. Every day, millions of people use the Google Pocket GPS Navigator to find their way, of course, as well as give their opinion on the places they have visited. They post photos, leave comments, and answer questions from other users. Google intends to use this incredible mass of data as part of its new “Vibration of Neighborhood” feature, which will be translated into Ambiance du quartier in Molière’s language, and which will be rolled out worldwide on Android and iOS in the coming months.

With this application, Google will be able to highlight popular and trendy places around you, whether it’s a cafe, bar or cultural center. The goal for Google is ambitious: it is about describing the soul of the area as closely as possible to users, moving from a standardized recommendation to advice updated by the users themselves, in order to get as close to ground truth as possible. According to Chris Phillips, head of Google, this feature “quickly determines what is interesting in a given area.”

All-round development

If Google initially relies on user comments to ensure the service offers quality results, the American giant wants to replace those human recommendations with an algorithm later on. A risky bet that Google justifies with its desire to “adapt and evolve the product to help users better explore the world and get around.”

As proof of its good faith, the American giant recalls that its technologies are involved in major modern battles, such as the fight against global warming. For the past few months, Google Maps has been offering “eco-routes” to help save fuel when traveling by car, among other things. For the American giant, this feature, which offers drivers the most carbon-efficient routes, has saved at least half a million tonnes of carbon emissions since its launch, the equivalent of taking 100,000 cars off the road.

Finally, remember that Google is not the first to try this area. At the beginning of the year, the American giant extended this feature to its Google Flights service so that its users can know the expected carbon emissions of flying an airplane. So many attempts, which, of course, are worth something in the context of the fight against global warming, but which allow Google to further increase the impact of its services and applications in our daily lives.

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