As millions of families prepare to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday, Google is using its big data to reduce travel stress during busy vacations. The search giant launched a website called “Mapping Sans” on Tuesday, which contains tools to tell people the best time to get on the road, especially the ideal time to get on Black Friday.
Developed by teams from Google Maps and Google News Initiative, the site includes travel planning tools and charts to tell you about traffic over the long weekend in 25 major U.S. cities, including San Francisco, Houston and Pittsburgh.
Expert Tip: On average, you should avoid getting on the road around 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving, when it’s almost a suspicious time. Another chart shows that American taverns are the most crowded on average around 6 p.m. during the Thanksgiving holiday.
Google has been working to make map tools a more useful information center, and in August it announced tools that allow people to solve business travel problems, such as airline tickets and hotel reservations, even without having to close apps when they arrive at their destination.
In June, Google introduced new tools to help people in times of crisis or natural disaster, such as showing the epicenter of an earthquake or making it easier for households to travel through crisis areas. Google Maps has also been expanding its discovery tool, and earlier this year the Maps app began highlighting the most popular dishes on the menu and allowing people to order food directly from the app.