Google Hotel Finder has added a new filter -- maximum travel time from a tourist attraction, business meeting or other point of interest.
Leveraging data about 500 global markets from the transportation systems in Google Transit, Google Hotel Finder now populates hotel results based on a 20-minute default distance from a point of interest.
For example, if you input Buckingham Palace into the Google Hotel Finder search box, it will populate hotel results with those properties within a 20-minute transit ride from the tourist attraction.
When you click on the map, you can see the Buckingham Palace represented by a red dot and that the London Marriott, Radisson Edward and Dominion Theatre are all within a 20-minute tube ride from Buckingham Palace.
Of course, you can manipulate the transit distance desired as you wish and use the feature to gauge the distance from convention centers and the sites of your business meetings, as well. If you move the slider to 15 minutes instead of 20 minutes, you will see a smaller subset of hotels and nearby attractions, for instance.
In regions, such as Buenos Aires, where Google doesn't have public transit data available, Google provides walking distances instead of transit time.
And, in addition to searching for hotels by transit time or walking distance, you can also use Google Hotel Finder to search for hotels in a selected area or in a city's most popular locations, Google notes in a blog post announcing the Google Hotel Finder tweaks.
Here are the countries and cities which Google covers with public transit data.
Google's integration of transit data follows Hipmunk's rollout of Google Calendar integration in October.
Hipmunk enables people to plot the location of business meetings on a Google Map and to view the distance to hotels which would be convenient for the business traveler.
Google's approach is geared toward business and leisure travelers and ups the ante with transit data.