As millions of people get ready to travel for Thanksgiving, Google is using its vast troves of data to try to make trips less stressful during the busy holiday week. The search giant on Tuesday launched a website called Mapping Thanksgiving, which includes tools that tell people the best time to hit the road and ideal times for going out on Black Friday.
The website, which was developed by teams from Google Maps and the Google News Initiative, has trip planners as well as graphs that tell you when traffic is worst during the long weekend in 25 major US cities, including San Francisco, Houston and Pittsburgh.
Pro tip: On average, you should avoid leaving for your trip between 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving. Another chart indicates, though, that liquor stores in the US are on average most crowded around 6 p.m. the evening before Thanksgiving.
The launch comes as Google pushes to make Maps a more useful hub of information. In August, the company announced tools to let people pull up their travel reservations, like flight and hotel bookings, so they don't have to leave the app while they're navigating to a new destination.
In June, the company introduced new tools to help people during a crisis or natural disaster, like showing an earthquake's epicenter or making it easier to navigate through a crisis zone. Google Maps has also been expanding its discovery tools. Earlier this year, the company said Maps would highlight a menu's most popular dishes and let people order food directly from the app.