Google experiments with Hotel Finder search tool

Summary:Google has been ramping up its transportation search features for desktop and mobile, but now it is shifting into full on travel mode with its Hotel Finder experiment.

Google has been ramping up its transportation search features for desktop and mobile, but now it is shifting into full on travel mode with its Hotel Finder experiment.

The Next Web reports that the utility is "designed to help users find the perfect hotel." Easier said than done, of course, but maybe something that Google creates is just crazy enough to work.

Google's Hotel Finder (not to be confused with HotelFinder.com) can find the ideal accommodation for a particular user based on a few different priorities, such as location and budget. For example, when searching for where to stay, the user can draw shapes around neighborhoods using a mouse rather than searching by individual addresses.

Check out the example I drew out below:

Other helpful tools include being able compare hotels easily within the same browser tab featuring photos and reviews of different hotels, along with the option to keep a "shortlist" for ones that might catch a traveler's eye.

Again, Google's Hotel Finder is still in experimental mode (and it might have that similar name to worry about), thus don't expect it to work so...perfectly just yet. Additionally, it's only available for finding hotels in the United States at this time.

In related Google travel/transit news, Google has officially added the London Underground to its repertoire of information for public transit agencies. Info on Transport for London includes over 18,000 bus stops and over 250 Underground stations. Note that this data refers to planning trips, getting directions and general location information - not real time alerts and schedules.

Nevertheless, it's a good start - especially if you're planning to attend the Summer Olympics in the British capital next summer, which starts one year from yesterday.

The Goog has had a few other new developments today, including a move towards the Content Delivery Network business and the Page Speed Service project for improving load times by up to 60 percent.

Related:

Topics: Google, Browser

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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