Google is bringing generative AI to google maps

 Google is introducing generative AI to Google Maps, allowing users to discover interesting places more easily. This feature uses large language models (LLM) to analyze detailed information about over 250 million places and insights from a community of 300 million contributors to offer quick suggestions for restaurants, shops, and more.

Initially launching in the US, there's no specific timeline for its availability in other countries. Google aims to transform Google Maps from a navigation tool to a discovery platform for new places using its expertise in generative AI.

For example, if you're in San Francisco and looking for vintage shops, you can simply ask Maps for suggestions like "places with a vintage vibe in SF." Google's AI models will analyze various factors like nearby businesses, photos, ratings, and reviews to provide trustworthy recommendations.

Initially, only members of Google's Local Guides community will have access to this feature. Local Guides contribute reviews, photos, and other information to Google Maps. The company plans to expand access to all users later on.

It remains to be seen how different this feature will be from a regular search on Google Maps. It's expected to offer a more conversational experience, resembling a chatbot interaction, rather than a straightforward list of nearby shops.

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