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Google's New Field Trip App: a Tour Guide in Your Pocket

Cities are more than just gridded streets to be navigated via a mapping application; they're living, breathing places chock full of restaurants, shops and landmarks that make every town unique. Field Trip, a new local search app by Google, hopes to highlight the soul of a city by automatically notifying you when interesting locations are nearby.

Field Trip runs in the background of your phone and pulls in information from various APIs to deliver details and information about your surroundings. For example, Songkick points out musical events, Arcadia pipes up with tidbits of local history, Zagat guides you towards the best eats, and Atlas Obscura brings out the weird "hidden gems." Those are just the tip of the iceberg.

In typical Google fashion, Field Trip gives you a lot of granular control over how many notifications you receive: the full flood, the occasional nudge, or none at all. Additionally, you can pick what types of notifications you'd like to receive, while a slider bar lets you set how often you'll receive notifications for specific categories, which include:

  • Architecture
  • Historic Places & Events
  • Lifestyle
  • Offers & Deals
  • Food Drinks & Fun
  • Movie Locations
  • Outdoor Art
  • Obscure Places of Interest

Wanderers have a few different ways to receive Field Trip's information; the app can display nearby interests on a map, automatically pop up information cards and notify you when an interest is nearby, or even detect when you're driving and talk about the local area while you're behind the wheel.

It's an interesting premise, and we're looking forward to spending some hands-on time with the app. Field Trip is already available in the Google Play Store, with an iOS version "coming soon." Apple iDevice owners can sign up at the Field Trip website to receive a notification when the app hits the App Store.