Google Maps goes local
Google announced last week that Google Maps will mark its emergence from beta testing into full-fledged usefulness by changing its name to Google Local.more...
This new product has the makings of a killer application. "Local information is huge," said Jared Cosulich, who operates his own Google-mapping service at CommunityWalk. "The decision to combine the two services recognizes the fact that the user's experience is significantly increased when he or she can see information in the context that ties it all together."
The first step to capitalizing on all this local information will likely involve Google's AdWords program, which provides ads based on the keywords used in a given search. But Google Local's real promise lies in "in-map" advertising. For example, as you zoom into areas of a map, Google may serve up ads based on businesses in the surrounding streets or neighborhoods -- and perhaps display them within the map itself. "Whatever advertising medium is chosen," said Mike Pegg, who operates Google Maps Mania, "I'm confident it will be relevant and non-intrusive to the map you are viewing."