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Google Edging into Travel Again

Six months ago, Google launched Google City Tours. A Labs product for Google Maps, City Tours was based around pedestrian sight-seeing, with maps, walking times and sight suggestions.

Now Google is continuing to edge into travel (at least pedestrian travel) with enhancements to City Tours. They’ve added more detailed directions and travel times as well as integrated better with My Maps and tweaked the UI.

Interestingly, some of these were already in place in Google Maps but just recently added to City Tours:

Today, we start providing complete pedestrian routing information for every step of your tour, taking road types, bridges and bodies of water into account just like a regular Google Maps walking directions search. We still try to minimise the time you spend walking and we still won’t recommend a visit to an attraction when we think it’s closed but, now, the suggested tours are a whole lot closer to reality.

You can also now import your own My Maps or other public My Maps to create walking tours: create or find a My Map with the sights you want to see and City Tours will customize a walking tour with detailed directions for you.

So City Tours is not bad and getting better—but is this really Google making the first steps toward Google Travel?