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Google Maps gets generative AI

Google Maps offers a new AI feature that makes personalized suggestions. So far only for selected local guides, though.
Google Maps generative AI

Google’s generative AI push continues, first with Gemini Pro, now with Google Maps. The app now also has AI on board, but there is a catch. The new functions are initially only activated for “select local guides” in the USA. If you are one of the lucky ones, you can use the generative AI in Maps to find places that suit your own taste.

To do this, you simply say what you are looking for in normal language and Google’s language models analyze the Maps database for suitable results. Google says Local Guides’ “insights and valuable feedback” will help improve the feature before releasing it more broadly. Seen this way, you could initially view the whole thing as a kind of closed beta.

In the official announcement, Google gives an example of how to use the new feature. For example, you enter “places with a vintage vibe in San Francisco” and get “rich information” about shops and places nearby. Complete with photos, ratings and reviews from the Maps community.

Results are organized into categories and include photo carousels and review summaries. The latter also contain information about why Google thinks a location matches the search query. You can then continue the conversation with a follow-up question without repeating anything. For example, you can ask “How about lunch?” and Google will bring up vintage restaurants in San Francisco. Of course, you can also save all the places that were recommended by AI or share them with friends.


Thomas Dietrich
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