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Did you know Google Maps can show you how crowded your train will be?

In some locations, you’ll even be able to see live crowd data for individual train cars.

google maps navigation showing how crowded the metro is
Image: KnowTechie

Google Maps first introduced transit crowdedness predictions two years ago, before the pandemic ground everything to a halt.

Now that the US is opening up again as vaccination rates climb, Google is making those predictions even more accurate, as it works with over 10,000 transit agencies in over 100 countries to get that real-time data on train seats.

Planning a journey on Maps via rail or metro will predict if there are open seats or if the train cars are all packed, so you can figure out the best time for you to leave safely.

Those predictions go further if you live in New York or Sydney, as Google is testing out the ability to see live crowd data down to the individual train car, showing you the least crowded places to get on. That’ll also show bus data, letting you know if it’s busier than normal or other indications of how crowded (or not) those buses will be.

Google Maps also is getting a new tool, called Timeline Insights. Assuming you’ve got Location History turned on, this will let Maps aggregate all of your comings and goings, tracking everything from how often you eat out to whether you prefer to bike, fly, walk, or drive to get there.

google maps insights
Image: KnowTechie

You can find this in the Timeline tab, which you can get to by tapping on your profile picture while in the Google Maps app.

That’s cool because it logs any places you’ve gone to on holiday, giving you a digital scrapbook to remind you of your time away. Now you’ll always have a record of places you enjoyed, in case your friends ask for a recommendation when they’re about to travel to the same place.

Oh, and while we’re talking about recommendations. If you leave a review for a restaurant on Google Maps, Maps will now ask for more information than usual, like the price ranges of your food, and if you ordered takeout or delivery.

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