As We See It

Beyond traffic jams, Google also helps you avoid crowds and long lines now

Avoid traffic jams and crowds and lines with Google.

If you’re not a fan of waiting in lines—and who is?—here’s a tip: Never venture anywhere at 6 p.m. At that time, the desk-chained masses break free from their cubicle farms, spilling onto the streets like a scourge. Gym at 6 p.m.? No. Grocery store? No. That cozy new neighborhood restaurant? Most definitely not.

Google’s latest upgrade reveals popular business’ peak hours, so that you, dear recluse, can avoid them. To find popular times, search a shop name on a mobile web browser and click “more” to see bar charts showing busiest times for every day of the week.

The tech giant determines commercial rush hours in the same way it learns of traffic jams: by collecting anonymous GPS info from Google Maps users. Popular times won’t be available for all businesses, but a few quick searches reveal completely non-scientific generalizations about our behaviors. We eat at noon and 6, we shop all hours of the weekend, and it turns out there’s one place that’s consistently crowdless at 6 p.m.—the gym on a Saturday.

Tags: Traffic
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