Google’s latest Maps features help you avoid the holiday shopping crowds

google’s latest maps features help you avoid the holiday shopping crowds

The “Busy area” label appears when you might encounter crowds. | Screenshot by Thomas Ricker / The Verge

Google is adding a handful of new features to Google Maps in time for the holiday season, which collectively should make getting around a slightly less fraught experience. The new features were announced in a blog post today.

A new “Area Busyness” feature provides information on how popular neighborhoods are rather than just specific destinations, while the app’s “Directory” tab is rolling out globally to give more info on the stores and amenities inside locations like malls and airports. Google Maps is also expanding its grocery pickup tracking feature to cover more stores across the US, and is attempting to make its restaurant reviews more detailed.

Image: Google

The Directory tab gives information about stores…

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