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Google Adds Location Targeted Searching 326

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the where-am-i dept.
miradu writes "Many Slashdot users may remember that the winner of last year's Google programming contest's entry was a location specific search. Now, Google has made a version of Daniel's idea available to use on Google Labs. Google Search By Location lets you search for things near some zipcode, or city/state. It then gives you a map with each search result pinned on it. V"
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Google Adds Location Targeted Searching

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:49PM (#7034920)
    Since it's still in the labs, it's still an experimental project. They may eventually abandon the idea, or they may take it mainstream. Google News started out with a US-centric version, and has since expanded to cover a number of other countries.
  • by s88 (255181) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:58PM (#7035017) Homepage
    How many posts are going to say "OMG we slashdotted google." This clearly is not running on there huge cluster. Its probably just a single server or something. Settle down, pigs are not flying.

    Scott
  • Already got it. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Spudley (171066) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @12:58PM (#7035023) Homepage Journal
    Here in the UK, you can use Multimap [multimap.co.uk] to acheive something close to this.

    Multimap's main use is simple as an online map, and it's used heavily here in the UK, but they do show pin-marks on the location of any services they know about.

    They only show links to certain categories of service (hotels, and the like), but limited though it is, the search by location service has been available for some time.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:01PM (#7035057)
    It's a nice idea in many respects but as a few people have posted, how is it really innovative?

    Here in the UK I've been using www.upmystreet.com, with which - based on a poscode that can usually locate an individual property - one can find businesses based on location, local representation, council performance, maps and all sorts of other information and even discussions based on location of user. It's a great idea and extremely well implemented and - which it might not be as elegant as searching the entire internet for web pages - is genuinely useful and adds hugely to what's possible through the yellow pages.
  • by Andorion (526481) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:02PM (#7035065)
    Yahoo only shows Yellow Pages listings - the Google search basically finds *web pages* with some reference to that location with the search words in it.

    ~Berj
  • A San Diego Version (Score:2, Informative)

    by KrackHouse (628313) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:05PM (#7035092) Homepage
    Here's a (hopefully) non-slashdotted site that does the same thing although it only works in San Diego. SDcommunities.net [sdcommunities.net]
    I got the latitude and longitude data from the Census for zip codes and created a HUGE reference tables for the distances between zip codes. Lots of math in the search code.
  • It's not new (Score:2, Informative)

    by f00zbll (526151) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:06PM (#7035106)
    http://www.superpages.com/ came out with mapbased search that uses an Applet a while back. And for those who remember Mapquest use to offer a similar feature back in the 90's. Google is a little late to the game. The application itself isn't all that hard to build. The real trick is providing a way for listees to correct the gps coordinates. For those familiar with GIS, that is the biggest problems. To my knowledge, VeriZon offers that capability to listees. You can easily test the accuracy of Goecodes by doing a search for the same address in mapquest, yahoo, and mappoint. You'll see the coordinates are not identical. Not only that, but each system uses a different level of precision. Only the military uses full precision, but then again they have to.
  • by coinreturn (617535) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:07PM (#7035109)
    How is this different from Yahoo Yellow Pages?

    Um, quite a bit of difference, theoretically. How about searching for parks, lakes, fire hydrants, mailboxes, phone booths, one-way streets, registered sex offenders, gullible people, etc.
  • by pavon (30274) * on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:10PM (#7035132)
    Well from what I can tell it doesn't just look in the yellow pages. For example I think I could do a search for linux, and it would display any addresses in my area that appeared on a linux website. Or I could search for the words "sale", and "shoes".

    Unfortunately, I was about to try some searches to see what other usefull things it could do other than yellow pages searches, when the site came to grinding halt. Sure enough, the story had just made the front page for non subscribers :)

    For yellow page type searches, I usually use mapquest, and I'm sure if this is better. The mapquest yellow page info seems to be out of data as it has turned up places that are out of business, and ommitted new ones. On the other hand the listing of results is much simple to read on mapquest. In addition, I don't know how smart google is on dealing with pages that have lists of addresses.
  • by ikkonoishi (674762) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:17PM (#7035190) Journal

    Don't mod this guy up.

    He is stealing someone else's post

    Original post [slashdot.org] Damn plagerist.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @01:53PM (#7035494)

    Type in a US phone number with area code into google and if your phone number is not a private number/mobile phone google will display your name, address and a map to your house.
  • by Elwood P Dowd (16933) <judgmentalist@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @02:26PM (#7035790) Journal
    It probably is running on some kind of cluster. They're trying to get it up to production strength, and there wouldn't be much point in a public beta if they still haven't made it clusterable (ie scalable).

    Of course, you're right, that doesn't mean it's scaled. It's likely on ten machines, not a few thousand.
  • Still Some Bugs? (Score:3, Informative)

    by technix4beos (471838) <cs@cshaiku.com> on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @03:21PM (#7036413) Homepage Journal
    Hrm... Not quite there yet.

    Searching for Microsoft and Redmond [google.com] in the search and location fields yields nothing.

    From Google's regular search engine I get these results [google.com].

    I think they still have some work cut out for them. Granted, it's a great feature, but nothing earth-shattering, since the concept of "yellow pages" has been online for a very long time.

    Some notable YP type engines that I might suggest:

    - Yahoo Yellow Pages [yahoo.com]
    - InfoSpace [infospace.com]
    - Bigfoot [bigfoot.com]
  • Re:Useful service (Score:3, Informative)

    by bezuwork's friend (589226) on Tuesday September 23, 2003 @07:44PM (#7038975)
    D.C. has this, but they have it from E to W. Then for N and S they have letters. For example, there is a N. D street and a S. D street. Once, before I realized the implications of this, I was looking for something at I and 3rd. Unfortunately I forgot which ones ... And, as ususal, I was late.

    I believe I hit it on the 4th try.

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