Google Maps Helps Celebrate New York City's Restaurant Week

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2013-07-21

Google Maps Helps Celebrate New York City's Restaurant Week

Google Maps Street View usually brings online viewers to a wide range of fascinating places, including the Grand Canyon, the Kennedy Space Center and the world's tallest skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

But it's also useful for special events like New York City's annual Restaurant Week, according to a July 18 post by Evelyn Chang, a Google Maps summer intern, on the Google Lat Long Blog.

One of the latest improvements for mobile Google Maps and Street View users is the ability to easily find nearby restaurants wherever you travel right on their mobile maps, and for NYC Restaurant Week, which begins July 22, that means that those same capabilities can help diners find tasty places to eat and relax.

"Google Maps can make your decision easier by helping you preview, browse and navigate your way to a restaurant that suits your appetite," wrote Chang in the post. "Let's say you're in New York City, home to over 25,000 restaurants, just before the start of NYC Restaurant Week. You can quickly narrow down the choices by picking from a list of eateries" that are participating. (New York's Restaurant Week apparently isn't only a week long, but actually runs through Aug. 16.)

One of the other useful features of the restaurant listings available through Google Maps Street View is that the interiors of more than 50 percent of the participating restaurants are also viewable using the service, wrote Chang. Those restaurants hired private photographers to take photos inside their establishments so they could be integrated into Street View for diners to get an up-close look inside before they stepped through the doors, she wrote.

Also available to Google Maps users for Restaurant Week and for everyday occasions are Zagat lists, ratings and reviews, which were also recently integrated into the mobile Maps apps for Android and iOS. Users can also peruse for places to eat and drink using the Explore feature in the Maps apps, wrote Chang.

Earlier in July, Google's Street View project unveiled the inside of the world of Harry Potter in London for viewers who can't make it to England. The Street View cameras captured a portion of the inner sanctum of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, where the sets and scenery from the beloved Harry Potter films are on display for visitors in real life, from the inside of the Great Hall to the oft-seen cobblestones of Diagon Alley, where Harry and his friends began their adventures.

Google Maps Helps Celebrate New York City's Restaurant Week

Google is always busy expanding its six-year-old Street View collection of images from the world's most amazing places. In June, Google unveiled the collection's first-ever photographic contributions taken in the Arab world and from the top of the world's tallest skyscraper, Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The images at Burj Khalifa allow online visitors to get a taste of what it is like to stand on top of the tallest building in the world, according to Google. The images are the first time Google has captured a skyscraper images using Street View. In the new images, virtual visitors can experience the view from the highest occupied floor in the world on the building's 163rd floor, and they can also experience being in the fastest-moving elevators in the world, which operate at 22 mph. Visitors can even see the highest swimming pool in the world on the 76th floor.

Earlier in June, Google added images of 1,000 additional famous locations around the world with new images from Asia, Europe, Latin America, the United States and Canada. The images are being provided to offer more information to viewers as they plan vacations or simply explore the world from their Web browsers, according to Google.

Google's Street View image collection has been growing regularly since its debut in 2007.

In March, Street View added spectacular images of the world's tallest mountain peaks, including Everest and Kilimanjaro, to its ever-expanding collection of photos from destinations around the globe. Also in March, a Street View crew collected and released a collection of haunting images of the Japanese town of Namie-machi. The photos were taken to document the evacuated town two years after radiation leaked from a nearby nuclear power plant following the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan.

In September 2012, Street View added its first-ever underwater panoramic images, bringing in colorful and beautiful photographs of underwater reefs in Australia, Hawaii and the Philippines. The images came from the Catlin Seaview Survey, which is conducting scientific expeditions to the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea in Australia.

Meanwhile, the Street View program has come under scrutiny both in the United States and in Europe after it was learned that Google was gathering the information street by street between 2007 and 2010.

The company was hit with an $189,167 fine in Germany in April 2013 for collecting user data without fully disclosing the practice as Google Street View vehicles combed German streets collecting information for its maps back from 2007 to 2010.

Also in April, Google announced that its Street View imaging program is now operating in 50 nations around the world.

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