Google has integrated its powerful Knowledge Graph into Google Maps, with a new feature called Quick Facts.
The Quick Facts feature, which is limited to the desktop version of Google Maps at the moment, appears as an informational card on the left-hand side of the Maps view but below the address and directions area. Similar to other cards found in many Google products, you can expand and collapse Quick Facts. If you expand a Quick facts card, you will see information on a destination/place. Google's Knowledge Graph aggregated this information.
Google confirmed to Search Engine Land, a website that first spotted Quick Facts earlier this week, that data came from the Knowledge Graph, a two-year-old semantic-search and aggregation system used by Google to enhance its search engine's search results. It gathers information from a wide variety of sources to provide detailed information about a query. The goal is that users won't have to navigate to other sites in order to learn basics about their query.
In a Quick Facts example provided by Google, you can see exactly how the feature details information. For instance, when you search for "Angkor Wat" in Cambodia, you will learn that it was the first Hindu, then subsequently Buddhist, temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world. You will also notice brief snippets like when construction started (1125) as well as architectural style (Khmer) and function (place of worship).
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The Knowledge Graph generates Quick Facts by grabbing information from the web and displaying it as a card. The type of facts and results vary for each query, though they will generally include historical background and points of interest. There are also links available in each Quick Facts card, so you can click through to further search and learn about a destination/place.
Quick Facts, which is rolling out now, isn't yet available for Google Maps' mobile apps, although Google will likely expand the feature in the future. Check out the gallery below for another Quick Facts example.