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How many ways are there "to get local"?

What are the different ways of designating a location?

     
7:25 pm on Dec 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Initial ideas:

  • City, town, county, State name
  • Zip code
  • Map
  • Latitude, longitude (Need a map)
  • Location by nicname (Big Apple, Windy City)
  • Area code (not without cross reference)
  • Proximity to X (Landmark: Mall, Times Square)
  • Neighborhood (Uptown, Downtown, Italian Market)
  • Others?
8:01 pm on Dec 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thinking about PPCall, you can 'get local' through telephone routing. Call a central number and it diverts you to a local office based on you telephone exchange.

Another phone-related one is the positioning services for mobiles, you have to opt in to these in the UK but they may become mainstream as content is provided to mobiles that would encourage people to switch it on.

You also left out street name & number (I assume you expected everyone to know the correlation between those and others on the list).

Other specialist areas would include council boundaries, voting wards, NHS (UK) health board areas etc.

We haven't even started to look at demographics, a person looking for a home to retire to is usually interested in the demographics of the area.

The you have the 'within Xminutes travelling time from a point' (on foot for very local or in car for commuting etc.)

I'm sure some of those were not what you asked for, but I got carried away (and there are more).

7:26 am on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Webwork - You sort of cover these, but might as well be more explicit about some of them. Local use might vary...

- metro areas (San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Cincinnati)

- metro area nicknames (Bay Area, Tri-State Area, SeaTac)

- geo descriptions (Ohio Valley)

- city name full (San Francisco, Los Angeles)

- city name partial or abbreviated (SF, SJ, LA, Vegas)

- states, counties, and cities with geo-modifiers (northern California, southern California, west Marin)

- these geo-modified names abbreviated (SoCal, So Cal, NoCal)

- location by local nickname ("the valley," eg, in most of Los Angeles, is the San Fernando Valley; "the peninsula" in the SF Bay Area is south of San Francisco and north of San Jose)

10:10 am on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Ahem, we don't all live in the USA and speak only English...

Muenchen
Munich
Monaco

Bayern
Bavaria
Bavarie
Baviera

etc.
etc.

1:13 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Monaco isn't the same thing as Munchen :) Very good point on the language variations, though!
1:19 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Monaco isn't the same thing as Munchen

I think it is to Italian speakers ;)

1:22 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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State Abbreviations
County Name
3:34 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Monaco, as in Monaco, Monte Carlo, is Italian for Munchen? Oh man, I stand corrected and apologize:)
Then again this brings up the problem of different meanings for words. You can get a lot of type-in traffic for a single word domain, but a large part of the your traffic will be searching for something different than you think.

More on topic: I don't know if I'm on the right track here, but how about
geolocalization in search
?

A user searches for "foodwidget", you show him places that serve foodwidgets in his area.

3:51 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>A user searches for "foodwidget", you show him places that serve foodwidgets in his area.

Google already serves this up with geo targeted adwords.

4:08 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Adwords sure, but I don't remember seeing this done for e.g. search results on a directory site. There's always a drop down or a field to enter the city or zip code.
10:13 pm on Dec 5, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Setting a location based on IP location of user?
12:24 am on Dec 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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nice thread.

>>Setting a location based on IP location of user?

yea.

a significant majority of local queries remain implicitly local queries.

And how about Time. Time sensitivity often lends itself towars inherently local- social activity...concerts, play, games, events, social groups, etc.

So then how about social targets?

1:00 am on Dec 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So then how about social targets?

One of the best hooks in the tackle box for catching locals. Its all upselling after that.

2:27 am on Dec 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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While not really a designation, but certainly a delineation, you can "get local" by user utility:

Where proximity is primary the Map View is best.
- real estate searches
- dry cleaners
- closest hardware store
- wireless hot spots

Where general locality is assumed social qualities (review, networks) become more important.
- service industries where they come to you or you are more willing to travel (plumber, attorney)

7:40 pm on Dec 7, 2005 (gmt 0)

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And how about Time. Time sensitivity often lends itself towars inherently local- social activity...concerts, play, games, events, social groups, etc.

And these local-social activities usually have physical locations, and thus proximity to other potentially related physical locations... eg theatres and restaurants.

Social activity also is often by its nature special-interest activity, with all sorts of potential product/service tie-ins. So time can lead to a whole raft of possibilities.

There are also types of searches that can be mapped to time of day... but that's maybe a whole other subject.