Get to know any neighborhood like a local

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 | 10:48 AM

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When you're in a new place, your first question is likely: What's good here? That's why we recently redesigned the Places homescreen on Google Maps for Android to include "In This Area,” a list of the most common types of places around you.


Along with the more general searches — for things like restaurants and caf├ęs — you can also click on the "In This Area" keywords and use them to search for places nearby. Here’s just some of the stuff you’ll find if you access the Places app in one of the following cities (or use the pulldown at the top to choose a location):

  • Buffalo, NY: "wings". Results include Anchor Bar, the birthplace of the Buffalo Wing.
  • Mission District, San Francisco: "burrito". Results include Papalote Mexican Grill — don’t forget to try their hot sauce.
  • Chelsea, New York: “art gallery”. This neighborhood’s full of great contemporary art at galleries such as Gagosian and Matthew Marks Gallery.
  • Seattle, WA: "coffee shops". Victrola Coffee, Espresso Vivace, and Bauhaus are known for their great Seattle coffee.
  • Kansas City, MO: “bbq restaurant". Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbeque serves some of the finest "burnt ends" in all of the U.S.
  • East Village, New York: “japanese restaurant”. Results include some of the best sushi and ramen places in the city.

We also improved the search interface to provide you with better, more relevant refinements. Clicking on “japanese restaurant” will show you the best Japanese  restaurants around you, but you’re also given suggestions for more specific searches like “sushi”, “ramen” or “yakitori.”


These refinement suggestions are also specific to your location. If you search for "bars in the East Village” after your delicious Japanese dinner, we'll suggest "hookah bars" — one of the specialties of this New York City neighborhood.

Note that these features are available in the U.S. and in English only for now.

What types of places are you discovering as you travel to new neighborhoods? Share with us in the comments.

Posted by Gergo Varady, Software Engineer

4 comments:

Laura Ruby said...

How does Google Places determine relevant refined suggestions? Are these connected to your G+ account and Search Plus Your World, or are they based upon reviews left on Google Places Pages by Google users....or by something else?

Vanessa Schneider said...

@Laura: Currently, suggestions are based on the information from across the web about the businesses in a given neighborhood.

Thanks,
Vanessa, Maps & Places community manager

Mirza Sharz said...

Can anyone use Google Place to promote his own business?

Vanessa Schneider said...

@Mirza - We talk about what business models are eligible for a Places listing in our quality guidelines:

http://support.google.com/places/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=107528

- Vanessa, Maps & Places community manager