Google Maps Tests Showing ‘Popular Dishes’ Images in Restaurant Listings

Yet another step towards making Maps your go-to app for restaurant recommendations.

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Google Maps Tests Showing ‘Popular Dishes’ Images in Restaurant Listings

Google Maps does much more than just give you directions.

  • Google Maps has been doing a lot to boost its restaurant listings
  • A new feature being tested shows ‘popular dishes’ at some restaurants
  • The feature isn’t rolling out widely yet

While the US has Yelp and India has Zomato as apps dedicated to helping you pick a restaurant to eat at, Google is trying to get into the game in a big way. Google Maps has been boosting its restaurant and bar listings in a big way to take on the established services. It's now testing a feature that shows ‘popular dishes' at some restaurants, using images that are crowd-sourced from users who upload pictures to Maps. The feature is only visible to a small number of users for now.

The feature was discovered by Twitter user @wimbet, who posted screenshots of the crowd-sourced menu images. The new ‘popular dishes' tab is somewhat like a menu for the restaurant, but only seems to be focused on the most popular items on the menu, as the name suggests. It shows crowdsourced images of the most popular dishes at a particular restaurant, giving users an idea of what a restaurant is popular for. The ‘popular dishes' are visible under the menu tab, assuming the menu of a restaurant is available through the Google Maps listing. The feature hasn't rolled out widely yet, and 9to5Google speculates it was probably spotted in the Google Maps beta channel.

The feature seems to work by scanning reviews of restaurants to find out what dishes are popular, and then further scanning through users' images to post the right ones. As seen in the screenshots though, not every photo has a dish name attached, and users can contribute by editing. The feature appears to rely heavily on Google's excellent machine learning and AI algorithms, and takes Google's listings a step further, at least when it comes to restaurants.

Google Maps does a lot more than just listing restaurants of course, offering information on shopping, landmarks, and more through the app. It's also handy in helping with navigation and traffic information. While this latest feature is still being tested, it could soon roll out to all users.


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Further reading: Google, Google Maps
Ali Pardiwala

Ali has over eight years of experience in the technology space, specialising in writing about all kinds of audio gear and TVs. He’s reviewed all kinds of headphones, speakers, audio gear, and televisions over the years, and is the in-house expert on all gadgets with screens and audio drivers. He is of the firm belief that truly wireless earphones are the future, and will always recommend a 4K TV, but not necessarily a smart TV. In his spare time, Ali likes to watch TV shows and movies ...More

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