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Google Maps Blends UGC Into Search Results

More info from Flickr, Wikipedia by default

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The search results traditionally provided by Google Maps might best be described as "straightforward."  They were fine so long as users already had a good idea of what they were looking for; they were rather less useful for browsing.  But the blending of user-generated content into the results should change all that.

On the LatLong Blog, Daniel Yehuda explained, "Some of our more regular users may have noticed that we’d been sparingly doing this for a while now, occasionally surfacing results from KML, GeoRSS, or Wikipedia we crawl from the web, along with photos and videos we think would be useful – but now we’ve opened the floodgates!  From now on, you can expect to see more higher quality user-created content to show up, often intermixed with our traditional results."

Google Maps UGC
 

A few samples queries have turned up results from Flickr, Panoramio, Wikipedia, Yelp, and YouTube so far.  Plus there’s a whole lot of stuff taken straight from Google Maps users’ collections of placemarks.

All in all, Yehuda’s right in saying that this contributes to a much "richer and more informative" atmosphere.  Search results can actually tell you stuff now, rather than just make you wonder how long ago the White Pages data was collected.  And in situations where all you need is an address, standard queries turn those up the same as ever.

Eyeing the development from a more corporate perspective, this provides marketers with a good incentive to look into social media tactics.

Google Maps Blends UGC Into Search Results
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  • Guest

    And here is a tutorial for Google Maps made in paper :)
    Pretty sure you’ll like it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9TtDecveCE

  • http://www.bluelizard.com/Expertise/NETTraining.aspx Custom Software Services

    Thanks for posting that youtube video…it was actually pretty cool…I’m still trying to figure out how they did that!

  • http://www.yourincomepotential.com Leo Saraceni

    This is yet another inclusion of Social Media into Google’s efforts, and puts them ahead of the battle against bing.com and wolphram/alpha. It’ll be interesting to see where they’ll pull local results from, since there are newer social networks that focus on local positioning to post updates, such as brightkite. It’d be awesome for local SEO too, but this is such a new topic that nobody has a clear idea of how to pull it off.