Japan Gets Their Yahoo Fix, Wheres Ours?

    September 28, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Now here’s a good idea, and one that we may hope to see from Yahoo on the other side of the Pacific. Yahoo Japan Corp launched a pilot service allowing local users to update its map service to be sure its accurate, according to Kyodo News.

“To submit local information, users first have to access the website and select a particular area, and then send in-depth information only locals would know, such as “a convenience store has opened” or “the name of the building has changed,” reads the Kyodo news brief.

Mike over at Tech Dirt suggests that this is a long overdue feature at Yahoo!’s map services in other countries.

“[W]hen it comes to local and map info, who knows better than the locals themselves? Given the number of times we’ve seen stories about people being driven astray by bad online maps and bad directions, it would seem like a simple “this isn’t correct” button would be great [I]n cases of just additional useful local info, letting locals fill in the data could be quite useful — if there’s a good way to verify that the info is legit,” opines Mike.

A blog commenter by the name of “Lost in Cow Country with my PDA” agrees.

“A Fix it’ button would be really nice for those of us who have tried technology as a tool for navigation, but have found that computerized maps in any flavor are less than accurate. I live in a small city, and most of my clients live in very rural communities. I find that I have to rely on paper based maps for almost 10% of my daily visits. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but when you live in BFE USA, that can mean the difference between a 30 minute drive, and a two hour “where the F@#$ am I” fest,” says Lost.

Yahoo! is moving more and more toward a local community feel, as evidenced by WPN’s John Stith, and these types of features would surely be welcomed. Local search is predicted to be a big part of the future of search marketing, highly location-specific targeted advertising will be the next wave.