Posts Tagged ‘Google Maps’

Google Treasure Maps

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Have you tried out Google Maps in “Treasure Mode” today?

Google Maps in Treasure Mode

Google Treasure Map of Dallas

I just noticed it late in the day. On the left side is a box for more information about the new beta program: (more…)

Foursquare Heat Maps

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

This is a pretty cool graphic interface I came across thanks to Giovanni Gallucci — it’s for checking out your Foursquare usage data: Where Do You Go. It displays your checkins using heat maps:

Where Do You Go - Foursquare Google Maps Mashup

The Google Maps mashup was built using Foursquare’s API, Python, and the Google APP Engine. I think it likely works better in Chrome or FireFox than in IE.

Creator Steven Lehrburger wrote that he created the display to graphically demonstrate to friends and acquaintances the areas which he frequents, and also as a project for a New York University mashups class he was taking.

It’s quite conceivable that Google could use similar user data in calculating personalized local search results and in figuring out the relative popularities of places within cities and neighborhoods. Google’s geolocation data for users is increasing and improving daily.

Google Maps & Intersections

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

I’m not sure how many people might use this feature in Google Maps, but I suspect that relatively few people are aware that it exists. Google Maps allows one to submit more than just street addresses and city names in order to map location — they also allow you to submit intersections of cross-streets:

Google Maps & Crossroads - Main Street and Elm Street in Springfield, Massachussetts

To get a map of an intersection of two streets, you merely need to submit the request in this format: “[Street Name A] & [Street Name B], City]. In the above example, I use “main st and elm st, springfield, ma”.

Developers are probably even less aware that this feature is available in Google Maps API (more…)

Local SEO 101: Increase the Odds of a Plus-Box Map

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

You’ve likely seen Plus-Boxes in Google search results. They are little boxes which sometimes appear below a search result listing, and when clicked they expand the listing, allowing more info to be displayed, such as a small map or a stock chart.

Google Plus-Box Treatment, Coit Tower, San Francisco

For many webmasters, the question of whether a Map Plus-Box appears for a page about a location, such as for local businesses, appears to be decided very arbitrarily. Some pages with local addresses on them have the Plus-Box treatment occur, while others do not.

There are a few ways to increase the chances that Google will be able to successfully interpret the location information appearing on a webpage, so that they can pinpoint it on a map. (more…)

Google Indexes More Place Pages… Again

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

If you recall when Google Maps launched Place Pages last Fall, they had first represented that the pages would not be indexed to appear in Google organic search engine result pages (“SERPs”). Then, due to some “errors”, the pages actually did appear in organic results.

Now, in the last few days, I’m noticing more and more of the one-box listings appearing in organic SERPs. (more…)

Google Maps Adds Clickable Icons in Street View

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

Google Maps has added clickable icons of businesses and places in Street View:

Clickable Icons in Google Maps Street View

Clickable Icons in Google Maps Street View - example of McDonald's in Carrollton, Tx

The icons are the same clickable icons found when you’re browsing maps of areas and are visible by default. When clicked, the icons pop open a little info-bubble that’s familiar as the same info-bubble boxes which appear over the standard maps view for place marks.

I’ve referred to these icons before as “landmark icons“, and these are generally going to be advantageous for businesses which have them, since they enable people browsing areas via Street View to discover them — yet another potential means of promotion.

In order to have this appear for one’s business, (more…)

Marijuana in Google Maps

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Today is April 20, known as “420” in pro-cannabis circles — a day in which pot-smoking is celebrated in a number of places around the United States. So, I wondered if there were any user-generated maps of 420 party locations findable in Google Maps (only out of intellectual curiosity!). While I couldn’t find any 420 parties there, I did find maps pinpointing places where one can purchase marijuana, such as this map created by HIGH TIMES Magazine:

Places To Buy Medical Marijuana In Google Maps

Of course the locations are for people interested in medical marijuana. A cursory search for places to buy illegal drugs didn’t immediately turn up anything, although I’m mildly surprised that enterprising drug sellers haven’t thought of creating custom maps in Google to promote places where people can buy it. (more…)

Google Maps Has Fixed The “Escher Effect”

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

A recent quick review shows that Google Maps has cleaned up the “Escher Effect” seen in Satellite view. The Escher Effect is caused when two separate aerial or satellite pics are taken of different sections/plots of a city, and then stitched together to form a continuous composite picture. Each pic is taken from a different angle, so the taller building pictures are taken from different perspectives, causing them to appear to lean toward or away from each other.

Escher Effect of the Empire State Building, New York, NY

Escher Effect of the Empire State Building

The “Escher Effect” is named after the famous Dutch artist, M. C. Escher, who was particularly known for illustrations using optical illusions that often involved perspective and side effects from how perspective is perceived.

When Google Maps introduced satellite and aerial photos, there was a lot of the Escher Effect going on. (more…)

Local SEO 101: Step One, Claim Your Listing In Google Maps

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

I posted an ultra-basic Local SEO tip over at SEM Clubhouse today, “How To Rank Well In Google Maps – One Easy Tip“. This one is so basic that it nearly goes without saying!

Google Local Business Center

However, I think many people may not have realized that CLAIMING your business actually is a major ranking signal for Google Maps, and automatically gives a listing a leg up over many unclaimed listings in the same category/area combination. Google employees have actually publicly verified that this is a ranking factor! There are very few instances where they’ll say that some factor is influential on rankings, so this is not to be ignored.

Stay tuned for more “Local SEO 101” tutorials.

When Google Maps Fails

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

This photo from Failblog illustrates a common experience for many online map users. In it, someone has posted a couple of signs stating “Dead End – Google error – Road Not Passable With Car – Google is in error…”, followed by detour instructions:

Google Maps Fail

The picture is funny, but the experience of driving somewhere wrong is not. (more…)