June 29, 2008

Coming Together Nicely: Google Maps, Streetview, and Trip Advisor

I need to find a hotel to stay at in New York on August 22 for the opening night of 'our' movie: Dare Not Walk Alone. So I go to Google Maps and check the address of the cinema (Pioneer Theater, 155 East 3rd Street between Avenues A and B). Then I use Street View to check out the neighborhood. Then I use the Find Nearby feature to look up hotels. This not only maps the nearby hotels but now shows me Trip Advisor listings for them.

Not sure when Google added this feature, but it's very handy. I've blogged about Trip Advisor before when I used it to find an affordable hotel for a working trip to London. I find it useful, although you have to filter the opinions of the reviewers (some people 'hate' or 'love' things too easily). But it is even more useful in combination with Street View because I can see what the hotel and environs look like in a candid photo, not the hotel brochure (at the very least this should reduce the disappointment factor when people arrive and find the place is less glamourous than the official photos suggest.