Google has made an important move towards making its services common across various platforms. The company has fused together a part of the “Explore” feature of Google Maps into its core web search for desktop.
The Explore feature was first introduced in 2013 as a part of Google Maps. This new integration came to be seen first on mobile devices in October and has now made it’s way to the desktop’s Google search results as well. This new feature is represented by a carousel-style widget which appears under the heading ‘Discover more places’ and provides about ten different places that are relevant to your search.
The new feature would provide these results on the basis of inferences it makes from sticking to certain keywords from your search. So, say you search for “Chicken nuggets”, you might receive a list of the best places to get some from Google. After you get a whole list of categories and options to choose from, you could further click on of those results on the desktop. This would take you to a Google Maps–like interface showing the places in a column on the left side and the right side would occupy a big map showing all directions and distances.
You can also select any particular place from the column and the map would show you all of its details. On the mobile web, after choosing one of the categories, a stack of cards of places would appear along with pictures that you can swipe through.
In an email to VentureBeat, a Google spokesperson wrote,
Google is committed to helping people find the most up-to- date, comprehensive, and useful information, so they can make the best decision on where to go. And we’re always working on new ways to help improve that experience for our users.
Google has been taking steps to improve the “Explore” feature for Google maps since 2013. In 2015, this feature was renovated with a new look and a significantly more detailed discovery mechanism. The latest update offers users much the same functionality on the web search as well.