How many times were you looking for the right hotel at the right price, close enough to your conference, customer or just a particular location? Finding the right one typically includes juggling multiple sites – hotel search, price comparisons, many with teaser prices that turn out to be unavailable, maps, reservation systems…etc. Not for long, if the limited Google Maps experiment to show hotel prices is successful:
Google Maps is is quickly becoming Ground Zero for all location specific information.
I can’t even keep track of the ever-growing services, but I know my search habits have changed: I no longer use Google “proper” for restaurant, retailer, repair.. etc destinations, Maps gives me better results. And the other day I accidentally discovered Google Maps now offers BART (the local train system) schedules from the San Francisco stations.
Of course the list is endless – and that’s exactly the point. Google Maps is no longer just a mapping facility, and we don’t even have to keep track of what we can do with it: just assume it is there. Or it will be. Information is either text-based, image or location-related: all comes from Google.
And yes, I know the hotel prices will come from ads, but why should I care? Competition will force all hotels to be present with their best advertised price, and that’s all a traveler needs.
Just remember, you still have to check in. No, not in Foursquare or Gowalla