updated 11:35 am EST, Tue November 16, 2010
Hotpot suggests places to visit in new areas
Google on Monday announced it has launched a new service called Hotpot that will provide local recommendations for places for travelers in a new city. The company compares this to talking to a concierge at a hotel where people are staying for his suggestions on where to go. Hotpot, however, is powered by a network of friends and the user himself for a more relevant experience than outside reviews.
Hotpot combines data from Google Places with a new metric called The Places You Like, which, based on a user's own rating of a restaurant or attraction will try to recommend others that are similar or stay away from them if the rating was poor.
Another, The Places Their Friends Like, lets users look up their friends' recommendations and share their own. To this end and to help spur early adoption, Google launched a Hotpot rating app to quickly rate all the places users have been and invite friends to Hotpot. Once the service is more popular, users can simply rate places from the Mobile maps in Android.
The recommendations appear in a new Place Search, Google Maps, searching Place pages for a specific business and in Google Maps for Android.