Google Maps Helps Celebrate New York City's Restaurant Week

New York's Restaurant Week starts July 22, and Google Maps Street View is helping to catalog and show off many of the participating eateries.

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.