How does google know how busy a restaurant is live?


Googled a restaurant and saw it wasnt as busy as it normally is apparently. How does google know that?

In: 374

I’m not an expert, but as far as i know, they do it by detecting how many google device are active in a location (in this case, a restaurant).

By “google device” i mean smartphone with google accounts (mostly android) and laptop with google account in it (again, AFAIK).

The more google device are active, the higher the chance that the restaurant is busy.

Reposting my reply in more than one sentence so that it doesn’t get auto deleted again.

They know how many people are in a restaurant in the same way they know how busy traffic is. It’s the GPS on your phone. Transactions happen after the fact and most aren’t through Google pay, so that’s not the viable reason.

It knows that because it knows the location of just about everyone with a cell Phone through their GPS app.

How many phones show up is a good indicator of how busy the restaurant is.

Decades ago people were concerned about someone/entity putting a secret tracking device in their vehicle or on them. Today people pay hundreds of dollars to buy and carry one themselves. ¯\_( ͡❛ ͜ʖ ͡❛)_/¯

By detecting how many google devices are in there. Most phones have google apps in them nowadays except for some Apple die hards who refuse to use anything but proprietary apple apps, so it’s generally pretty accurate.
Traffic predictions on google maps work the same way. It’s how a guy famously created a false traffic jam on google maps by dragging a cart full of cellphones

Using the GPS in everyone’s phones, it directly knows how many people are in the restaurant. It’s the same way Google Maps has live traffic data.

[If you walk down the road pulling a wagon full of smartphones, it shows up on Google Maps as a traffic jam.](
If that guy took his wagon of phones to a restaurant, the restaurant would show as “currently extremely busy” on Google.