I have been checking that URL every morning...need to get up earlier...
Started playing around with it. I am not a fan of the large maps by default (taking up 75% of the page) that they and Google are using. The focus needs to be on the company information - but that is really lacking at this point, so I guess they decided to focus on what they do well.
The scratch pad is useful.
Maps are slow to load for me (over Cable).
Sad thing is this just looks like another UI on top of the same limited and sometime inaccurate local data. I would prefer a simple UI with all the effort focused on complete, rich, and accurate listing information. Then we would have something other than another 'me too' local search application.
After taking a look see, I'm not impressed. I still say Yahoo has MSN & Google beat hands down for local search.
I can't see how this is different from Virtual Earth which has been available for a while now?
I did finally find one feature I really like. When I pull the map in any direction, to view another part of the city, it searches for the same search query in the new map area. So if I do a search for brakes in Dallas, and move the map over to Fort Worth, it then shows me brake places in Fort Worth automatically.
As far as features I like - the multiple simultaneous searches on the same map is useful to me.
I see the simultaneous searches as being a good feature too, although it depends on the needs of the searcher.
If someone is looking for a few things and have to travel to buy them it may be nice to see where 'clusters' of results lie. Having said that, people in this forum are likely to think of these, simple, things naturally wheras the general public may not.
Overall I think that the map based Local that everyone is following is an opportunity for all of us here. We should all know the percentage of searches that don't make sense on a map, it's significant and I'm putting more value in giving better information than a pretty whizz-bang map.
|I'm putting more value in giving better information than a pretty whizz-bang map |
yep. the data here is pretty poor. I guess when you don't have the data you try to divert focus to what you do have, ie the map functionality.
Mouse wheel can be used for zooming - sweet!
I like the close-ups. My site/business has locational advantages over the competition. The close-ups allow me to show case some of them.
Also adjusting the view allows us to put our best face forward to the visiting public.