In what appears to be a recent update to Apple's in-house mapping service, hotel reviews pulled from TripAdvisor and Booking.com are showing up in local search results alongside data sourced from Yelp.
Spotted by AppleInsider reader Ram, Apple Maps searches are returning TripAdvisor reviews for specific hotels, including the Days Inn in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey. Further investigation showed Booking.com reviews also popping up in various locations around the world, including China.
Since its inception, Apple Maps has relied solely on Yelp to provide reviews for local search, allowing users to read point of interest reviews without leaving the app. Neither TripAdvisor or Booking.com are listed as sources on Apple's official Maps attribution webpage, but reviews with links to their respective webpages and apps are now appearing in Maps queries.
It is not yet known how Apple plans to incorporate the new services, or to what extent, though it appears that data from TripAdvisor and Booking.com are currently supplementing, not replacing, Yelp information. For example, conducting a search for "Hotels" in the area surrounding Monmouth Junction returns a list of establishments from Yelp's database, while a pointed query for "Days Inn" brings back a list supplied by TripAdvisor.
The new capability may be linked to Apple's acquisition of social navigation startup Spotsetter, which used proprietary algorithms to recommend points of interest based on social network contacts. Prior to Apple's purchase, the app had hooks into TripAdvisor, Zagat and Yelp.