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  • Writer's pictureSarah Ruivivar

Google Maps' AI: Your New Travel Buddy

📸 ModelProp / Midjourney

Google Maps is adding a dash of AI magic to make your explorations more exciting. The tech giant announced a new generative AI feature, designed to help you discover new places like never before.

This clever feature uses large language models (LLMs) to analyse the vast database of over 250 million locations on Google Maps. It also takes into account contributions from the 300 million strong Local Guides community. The result? Personalised suggestions based on your unique preferences.

Fancy a vintage shopping spree in San Francisco? Just type in "places with a vintage vibe in SF," and voila! Maps will generate a list of thrift shops, complete with photo carousels and review summaries. The experience is designed to be more conversational, making it feel like you're chatting with a well-informed friend.

The AI doesn't stop there. Ask a follow-up question like "How about lunch?" and it'll remember your love for all things vintage, suggesting a charming old-school diner. According to Google, this feature can handle even the most niche queries.

The early access experiment is currently being rolled out in the U.S. to select Local Guides - the community members who contribute reviews, facts, and photos on Maps. The rest of us can expect to enjoy this feature in the near future.

This move follows Google's October update, which transformed Maps into a search tool with AI-powered features. The latest generative AI feature is another leap towards making Maps a platform for discovering new places, not just for navigation.

As Google said in their blog post, "This is just the beginning of how we're supercharging Maps with generative AI." So, buckle up, explorers! Your AI-powered travel buddy is ready to take you on an unforgettable journey.

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