Google Maps Now Showing Travel Plans

in a continuing effort to show that its mining of data is actually useful for the end consumer, i noticed some things today on the new version of Google Maps. for the longest time i had it set so that i always defaulted to the old Maps interface because i couldn’t figure out how to use the new one, but a reset of my browser settings (it was acting up) reverted me to the new Maps.

imagine my surprise when i saw reservation dates and my hotel shown relatively prominently on the map! and upcoming flights at airports!

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so not only do i have TripIt set to pull my travel plans from Gmail to automatically set up itineraries, but it looks like Google does it automatically as well. at least the former i opted into, the latter was completely unexpected.

that can lead to problems, though:

map1

so far so good — it’s showing my next flight.┬ábut a list of cards appears on the left when you click on the airport, a list that’s just a plain ol’ hot mess.

map2

In case it’s not clear, I’m a Star Alliance flyer ­čśë (for now)

so many of these flights are no longer valid due to changes or cancellations, but without deleting emails, i guess Google thinks they’re still correct. and i’m not quite sure why it chose to display a flight in November (that i’m no longer on, but again, it doesn’t know that) as the first flight in the list, when it knows i have one coming up quite a bit sooner.

another thing is that its algorithm for determining which reservations to show based on location needs some improvement. if i search for Barcelona, say, it shows my accommodation information, but it didn’t when i searched for Ibiza above (nor when i searched for┬áSant Antoni de Portmany, the actual town where my hotel is located, even though it knows it’s in that town).

map3

welp, as i’ve always said, “i, for one, welcome our new supercomputer overlords”. i’m not entirely convinced that adding information to points of interest (on the map itself) is that useful since they’re small and not very noticeable, but i do like the cards that appear on the left displaying reservation information, which i think will definitely go a long way in helping me plan (and making sure my plans are correct!). hopefully improvements in the way it determines applicability and relevancy will improve over time.

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