Urban Mapping Turns To Local Search

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Urban Mapping, a company that “prides itself on broad domain expertise,” has been around for a while – its maps have actually won several awards. It’s getting fresh attention, though, for what one person has termed its “natural local search.”

At first, I thought Greg Sterling’s story was about another would-be Google Earth killer. But as Sterling describes it, “Urban Mapping is a technology and B2B data provider that is collecting and normalizing huge amounts of local data of varying types and stripes.” And the company’s best-known product – a paper map of the Manhattan area – isn’t really in competition with Google Earth at all.

Urban Mapping’s latest work involves making sure “that consumers can use their normal and natural language to find local information,” Sterling writes. “For example: colloquial terms about neighborhoods and locations that may not be official geographic designations.”

Sterling interviewed Ian White, the founder of Urban Mapping, and the two addressed the issue. “White was . . . highly sensitive to different use cases based on familiarity with an area – a local resident vs. a tourist for example – and discussed how that impacts the presentation and depth of information,” Sterling wrote.

The company appears to see a “unique opportunity to increase the value to user, advertiser and publisher,” and as its site is quick to point out, “local search has quickly become online advertising’s new darling.”

And so, even if it’s not a competitor, it seems possible that Urban Mapping could bump into Google – or any number of other companies – at some point. A statement on its site makes this even more likely: Urban Mapping claims to “value intellectual creativity and agility over any particular body of knowledge,” and “our passion lies between disciplines and across domains.”


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.

Urban Mapping Turns To Local Search
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