Google Maps now offers real time restaurant crowd-tracking

The popular Google Maps "Popular Times" feature just got even better.

The latest update of the Google Maps app now gives you live crowd-tracking at restaurants. 

The feature previously had day-to-day and hour-to-hour updates, the latest version will tell you how busy the restaurant is at that very second.

How it works:

To determine popular times and visit duration, Google uses aggregated and anonymized data from users who have opted in to Google Location History.

Popular times and visit duration are shown for your business if it gets enough visits from these users. You can’t manually add this information to your location, and you may not see it if Google doesn’t have sufficient visit data for your business.

Visit data may include:

Popular times graph: Shows how busy your location typically is during different times of the day. Popular times are based on average popularity over the last several weeks. Popularity for any given hour is shown relative to the typical peak popularity for the business for the week. For example, in the image below, 6:00PM-7:00PM on Thursday is one of the more popular times of the week for this business.

Live visit data: Shows how active your location is right now. Live visit data is updated in real time and overlaid on the popular times graph. For example, in the image below, the highlighted section of the graph represents how active the location is right now compared to its usual level of activity.

Visit duration: Shows how much time customers typically spend at your location. Visit duration is based on customer visits to your location over the last several weeks.

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.