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With New App, Google Acts as Tour Guide

Location-based app Field Trip looks fun, and possibly lucrative for Google.
September 28, 2012

Google’s search and map offerings are go-to products for many people, and now the company wants to be your tour guide, too, with a new Android app called Field Trip. In the vein of Google Now, the company’s smart new virtual assistant software that aims to anticipate information you may want, Field Trip pings you every so often with notifications about your surroundings that range from historical data to special deals to cool sight seeing attractions.

You can determine how frequently Field Trip bugs you (or turn off notifications entirely), and give it a better sense of what you’d like to know about by choosing from a list of interests that includes architecture, food, offers and deals, and historic sites. Each interest is seeded with data from a list of Web sources (such as the The Historical Marker Database, The Worldwide Guide to Movie Locations, Google-owned restaurant guide Zagat, and, not surprisingly, Google Offers).

The inclusion of Google Offers is smart. Field Trip could be a good way for Google to sell deals, especially if people use the app whilse on vacation. I know I am more likely to spend money on a new item or experience when I’m on a trip away from home.

Field Trip also lets you see a list of all your recent notifications, or a color-coded map view of all the points of interest nearby. I’m pretty impressed with the app and its twee, retro-travel-guide design so far, and I’ll report back soon with a fuller review.

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