A new tool from Google lets users find hotels based on travel time – now it is easy to see hotels that match simple criteria such as “within a 10 minute walk of the convention center” or “no more than a 20 minute transit ride away” . This tool could disrupt the mostly complacent online travel search industry, which has failed to focus on the role transit and walkability plays in the lives of travelers visiting unfamiliar cities.
It is nowhere near as detailed as Walkscore’s Apartment Search tool, which lets you drill down Craigslist housing listings based on advanced criteria such as the proximity to specific bus lines. The interface is also somewhat clunky and Google admits the tool is currently an “experiment”, but hopefully other travel sites will feel the need to step up and offer similar functionality. Give it a try at google.com/hotelfinder.