Sgt_Kickaxe - 6:34 am on Nov 17, 2010 (gmt 0)
You have to be logged in BUT...
Set your public Google Places nickname, your ratings of places are public on the web with this nickname.
Pass, I really don't feel the desire to provide Google with more logged in yet public data. Quite frankly that's largely because I don't like what they do with my website data already. ie: showing my images without sending the visitor, offering a cache copy and screenshot of my site without sending the visitor, using my site as part of their rankings but shoving tons of ways for THEM to make money ahead of those natural rankings... etc.
Google already has access to all the review data but now it's time to own it.
Absolutely. If you own the data you can move away from a country-wide search engine and create what essentially becomes tons of mini search engines covering lots of smaller areas. This in turn provides Google with the ability to offer "local" business ad opportunities while charging more from bigger companies to appear country-wide.
It all makes one wonder if Google even wants 3rd party sites in their vision of the future.