By Paul Morris
In its broadly boring I/O Google has announced some decent amendments to its Mapping platform.
“Rebuilt from the Group up” helps you “find places you never would have thought to search for”.
That last bit sounds like the designers and UI specialists have been smelling the farts of the Google NOW crew.
But I still like it.
…as to be fair there is substance to the claim.
The improved solution could help you uncover nice local restaurants and places of interest you had not thought of. The maps will also be personally tailored with friends recommendations (Google+), be greater integrated with other Google properties (think Flight Search and Google Earth), your past map searches prioratised and with tweaks such as all relevant streets en route being more clearly labelled and prominence of other landmarks related to your search it feels like a good development.
What I’m most interested in though are the advertising opportunities.
Advertising tweaks include clearer and greater prominence to businesses advertising on the platform and a nice development of showcasing those advertisers with special offers (good for retail outlets, restaurants, tourist attractions, hotels, etc). This will clearly lead to more clicks and thus more opportunity for intelligent advertisers; particularly to those with offers and those targeting the competition and related companies/ services.
Whilst developments such as the new offer icons will not appear on mobile (yet) it is obvious that these will at some point be integrated into mobile maps. Why? Because I believe they will be genuinely useful + will generate £Google.
And here is a nice video showcasing the amendments: