Google experiments with Hotel Finder search tool
Not to be confused with HotelFinder.com, the experimental tool can help users find accommodations based on particular priorities.
Google has been ramping up its transportation search features for desktop and mobile, but now it is shifting into full on travel mode with its Hotel Finder experiment.
The Next Web reports that the utility is "designed to help users find the perfect hotel." Easier said than done, of course, but maybe something that Google creates is just crazy enough to work.
Google's Hotel Finder (not to be confused with HotelFinder.com) can find the ideal accommodation for a particular user based on a few different priorities, such as location and budget. For example, when searching for where to stay, the user can draw shapes around neighborhoods using a mouse rather than searching by individual addresses.
Check out the example I drew out below:
Other helpful tools include being able to compare hotels easily within the same browser tab featuring photos and reviews of different hotels, along with the option to keep a "shortlist" for ones that might catch a traveler's eye.
Again, Google's Hotel Finder is still in experimental mode (and it might have that similar name to worry about), thus don't expect it to work so perfectly just yet. Additionally, it's only available for finding hotels in the United States at this time.
In related Google travel/transit news, Google has officially added the London Underground to its repertoire of information for public transit agencies. Info on transport for London includes over 18,000 bus stops and over 250 Underground stations. Note that this data refers to planning trips, getting directions, and general location information--not real-time alerts and schedules.
Nevertheless, it's a good start--especially if you're planning to attend the Summer Olympics in London next summer, which starts one year from yesterday.
Google today also announced the the Page Speed Service project for improving load times by up to 60 percent.
This story originally appeared at ZDNet's Between the Lines.