Slowly but surely, Google Maps is filling up with more and more places. If you do a search in a major city, you are likely to find landmarks, museums, famous stores and restaurants labeled right on the map even if you did not specifically search for them.
If you pull up a map of midtown Manhattan, for example, you’ll see museums like MOMA and the American Folk Art Museum, as well as tourist attractions like the “Tree at Rockefeller Center.” But some of the famous buildings are also marked, like the Sony Building, the Trump Tower, and the CBS building. Churches and chocolate stores show up as well.
High-end stores like Harry Winston and Takashimaya are also on the map, as are more common ones such as the Gap. Some well-known restaurants are also highlighted. La Cote Basque, an expensive French restaurant on 55th Street is on there, but so is Sapporo, a great Japanese noodle house on 49th.
When you click on a labeled building or landmark, an information window pops open with the exact address, phone number, description, and link to a Wikipedia article if available. And as you zoom in more places become visible. At some point the map could become pretty crowded, Google hopefully is looking at search history and click behavior to surface the most important places. Each place on the map becomes a visual search result. I like the direction this is going.