If you’ve ever noticed orange splotches around certain streets in Google Maps, that’s what Google calls Areas of Interest. Those orange marks highlight frequently traveled areas that, according to Google, are dense with restaurants, bars, and shops. They’re largely determined by algorithm (Google sure does have the data to know where people are going), but in some extremely dense areas, like New York City, Google says it picks locations by hand, too. Google Maps’ Areas of Interest aren’t useful for telling you the big highlights of a city, but you probably don’t need help on those. If you’re going to New York, you already know you want to visit Ellis Island - you don’t need an app or a book to tell you that. The feature also isn’t great for telling you, say, an area’s absolute best restaurant; you’ll still want to do some research if that’s important to you. Google is working to get more small businesses listed on Maps, which helps populate the Areas of Interest feature. Get the full story at The Verge