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 Post subject: IT News: Google Merges Maps, Local
PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:21 am 
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Who says Google tools never come out of beta? Today the company removed the beta tag from both Google Local, where you can search for businesses and services in a particular area, and Google Maps, where you get local maps and driving directions. Plus, it has decided to combine the two services and serve them both up under the name Google Local.

"Google is all about search efficiency," says product manager Bret Taylor. "And I think we've made a lot of strides in terms of efficiency by combining the two services."

Now, when you query Google Local (local.google.com), a map pops up, displaying the many businesses and services that match you query. If you search on "Pizza in San Francisco," for instance, it displays a map of San Francisco sprinkled with red tabs pointing to various pizza parlors. It also lists each restaurant down the right side of your browser. When you click on a restaurant a small window pops up on the map, providing address, phone number, and other information.

The idea is that you're no longer forced to jump back and forth between separate Local and Maps sites. Everything is in one place. But Google has retained all the nifty tools that made these two services so useful. Most notably, you can still click on a map, drag your mouse, and instantly pan to new locations. If you're looking at a map of San Francisco, for instance, you can immediately drag Oakland and Berkley into view. Each map also still includes a "Satellite" button that ties into Google Earth, letting you instantly display satellite photos of the area. And you can just as easily bring up driving directions.

Currently, searches are limited to the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Japan.

PC Magazine

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 11:33 pm 
Google Maps is cool, I have used it before, hopefully these two together can be really helpfull :)


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