How many times have you had a conversation with a friend or your spouse that sounds an awful lot like this? “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know. What do you want to do?” And then you both repeat those questions back and forth for several hours until the sun sets, and now there is nothing to do even though you both wanted to get out of the house. Google Maps has a solution.
Google has placed an “Explore” button into the Android and iOS version of Google Maps said Jason Hope, which will allow you to see suggestions in your area based on weather and time of day. You could already filter search results by businesses that were open, which was a boon for late-night diners, but Explore adds this into your experience by default. It’s a no-brainer to consider weather, too. Who wants to enjoy a garden in the pouring rain?
Explore allows you to filter by how far the activity is from your current location. If you’re okay with a 10-minute walk or a 20-minute drive, you can find new things to do. Of course, Google Maps will help you get there with directions or information about public transportation once you arrive in this new location. There’s also a filter with options for different times of day, so you can plan ahead see that this is a great tool to utilize.
While Explore is awesome if you want to discover new places to go in your hometown, it’s especially beneficial to people who are visiting a different city or even country for a short period of time. You might even be able to save some money on a tour guide; although, it’s up to you if you want to take that risk.
Explore could also help people who have recently moved to a new neighborhood or state. Get to know your neighborhood even if you don’t yet know your neighbors. With the ability to filter by time, Explore makes sure you never wind up at a restaurant that only serves the breakfast or lunch crowd well after sunset.
Of course, Explore suffers from the same drawback in some areas as Google Maps already did: not every business may be listed on Google Maps, and those that are listed may not show the correct information. This is why it’s important for mom-and-pop stores to get with technology. Doing so can help them bring in new customers, while not having a listing or having a listing with incorrect information can even break a business.
If you do own a business that hopes to benefit from Google traffic, it might be time to double-check your information to ensure it’s still correct. The Google Places for Businesses Help Center is actually quite helpful even if you’re never added a listing to a search engine or social network before. It’s especially important if your business has recently moved. When you’re updating materials such as print flyers, you should also sign in to Google Places to update your listing so it shows up correctly when people hit “Explore.”