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Recently Google Maps introduced the ability to perform searches by neighborhoods. Neighborhoods tend to be somewhat informally defined but well recognized in certain cities. Neighborhood search is now available in fifty US cities, with more to follow.
You can now do searches such as [bagels upper east side new york]
Google LatLong blog [google-latlong.blogspot.com]
There's a large push in the RE sector to break down the tightly proprietized and controlled MLS structure and crack this wide open for the average user...(in fact there are some lawsuits in process against the large RE Organization in the states.)..to force them to relinquish their grip on this data..
No question this will continue to be refined...as the adversting opps at the street level are deep and G knows this ...