Google have started experimenting with adding hotel prices to Google Maps. Currently the experiment is only visible to a limited number of users and to a limited number of hotels who have paid to include their pricing information on Google Maps.
This move comes hard on the heels of Google Maps starting to add paid logos of companies to Google Maps in Australia and seems to represent a concerted effort by Google to monetise Google Maps.
When the feature is fully implemented users will be able to search for hotels on Google Maps, enter the dates they wish to book and see real prices for hotel rooms. Which sounds like a very useful feature for travellers.
At the moment a lot of Google Maps mashups monetise their maps with syndicated hotel booking. There are also a number of hotel booking sites that use the Google Maps API to help their users find and book hotel rooms.
This move by Google Maps could have a detrimental effect on these maps. However if Google are going to restrict their results to only hotels that pay to have their prices listed then there should be room for third party sites to provide more comprehensive coverage of hotels.
Via: Google LatLong