Know before you go, with Google
Google announces real-time look at how crowded a place is right now.
Jamie Aspinall (product manager):
"Tis the season for gift-giving, delicious dinners, and spending time with family and friends. That also means it's the season of crowded holiday shopping, travel planning and entertaining the in-laws. Never fear, Google is here to help you navigate some seasonal stress.
First up: crowd control. Since introducing the Popular Times feature in Google Search and Maps last year, you’ve been able to check how busy a place typically is at different times of the week. Just in time for the Black Friday swarms, we're adding a real-time look at how crowded a place is right now, to help you decide where and when to go. Whether you’re rushing to pick up a last minute gift or seeking a lively bar for some festive spirit, check Popular Times for a sneak preview of what to expect when you arrive.
Next up: time management. If you’re playing host for the day, you can also check and see how long people typically stay at a given location. That way you can plan your itinerary to the minute. After all, you want to be sure you leave enough time to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate at your local sweets shop before heading to your dinner reservations.
Finally: department and service hours. Stores, businesses and restaurants can sometimes have multiple hours for different departments and special services. Now on Google, you have access to these various hours, so you’ll know what time to pop by the pharmacy at your local drugstore or supermarket, when food delivery begins at a nearby restaurant (for those not looking to cook!), and what the service hours are at the auto dealership to get your brakes checked before hitting the road to see family."