Google is increasing the number of cities where Maps provides information on public transit congestion. The number of cities covered is growing from year to year about 200 today, “more than 10,000 transit offices in 100 countries,” the company says. In addition to congestion, Google says Maps will also be updated to provide more information about past trips.
Originally published in the crowded Google Maps before the pandemic in 2019, but over the past year, social distance has made it more important than ever. Congestion data is generated from a mix of historical location data as well as Maps users ’self-reports on individual trains. Google says it anonymizes the location history data used.
In addition to extending congestion forecasts to more cities, Google is also making them more granular in New York and Sydney. In these cities, users can see how dense individual train cars are just on the transit line instead of the general crowd. The feature works using information provided by the transit agencies themselves, and Google says it plans to expand to other cities soon.
Google also adds a couple of new features to the Timeline section of Maps on Android, which can be accessed by tapping the profile picture and then selecting your Timeline. The new Insights tab shows trends in the time and distance you travel and the places you visit. There’s also a Trips tab that brings together the places you visit, including the ability to export them as a list if you want to forward them as travel recommendations.
Alternatively, if you don’t like the reminder of how much data Google Maps can collect from you over time, you can turn this off (and lose access to new timeline features) by disabling location history on your phone.
Finally, Google also offers more review options for restaurants in the U.S. New prompts to share information on meal pricing and whether you received pickup and delivery. The new scanning options will be available on both iOS and Android, and Google says they will eventually be available to businesses outside restaurants.