Google Maps no longer has to guess how crowded your transit line is

These days, finding out when a public space or subway car is crowded isn’t just for convenience, it could potentially save lives. That’s why Google is talking up its Maps update which now offers real-time crowding information for your local transit line. In addition, the company says that it’s now providing timing information for 20 million venues worldwide to help you avoid big crowds.

Google has been helping users work out how busy bus, train or subway lines are for over a year, but has served up predictions rather than real-time data. Today’s update changes that by effectively crowdsourcing movements via supported handsets (when users have opted into anonymized Google Location History sharing).