Google goes local and adds business directory services to Maps

7 Apr 2009

Want to know if there’s a doctor or dentist in your area, or maybe a Vietnamese restaurant? Google has overlaid Google Maps with a database of businesses to find services such as gyms and banks even faster.

The company revealed today that it has just finished a worldwide rollout of local search results on Maps, which will appear even if you don’t type in a location.

“When you search on Google, we will guess where you are and show results near you,” software engineer Jen Taylor said in the official Google blog.

“How do we guess your location? In most cases, we match your IP address to a broad geographical location. You can also specify your likely location using the ‘Change Location’ link on the top-right corner, above the map.

“We try to make our guesses as good as they can be, so that whether you’re shopping for [groceries], [sporting goods] or [flowers], or looking for your [bank], your [gym], or the [post office], you can just say what you want, and we’ll try to find it right where you are.

“You can also search for specific stores or street addresses near you, such as [cornelia st cafe] in New York, for example,” Taylor said.

By John Kennedy