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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

When will GeoCoding impact Local Search?

In yesterday’s issue (11/2/06) of the NY Times they published an interesting article called: Basics: Pictures, With Map and Pushpin Included on the nascient field of photo geocoding.

I had been oblivious to this technology before but after reading this article I realized that it will have a huge impact on Local Search going forward. Clearly the technology is just now getting into the hands of people who are interested in geographically tagging their images with GPS data. Like all new technologies it might take 5 years or maybe even 10 to be widely adopted and deployed so that the average housewife is geotagging her family vacation images and sharing the resulting map with Grandma.

The possibilities are endless and Bill Slawski pointed out an interesting patent for some of those. He also pointed out a Microsoft technology demo. It gives some idea  of how maps and photos might interact.  ( I can only imagine that while it might change the details of  the husband  & wife  mapping argument it won’t change the nature of it.) In the meantime though it promises to make development of locally driven pin maps much more efficient than they have been in the past.

I have played with a number of mashup products that allow for the easy creation of locally relevant maps. It is still a somewhat arduous process to get locations created, images images inserted etc. Clearly it is heading in the direction that Flickr has taken with the single process of uploading a geocoded image creates the map and the data.

Short haul it bodes well for quick deployment of local maps with photographic data. I see these maps having importance on local editorial sites as a way to generate traffic for both the site and possible advertisers.

Long haul though as Google, Yahoo and MSN deepen and broaden their local products I envision a day where geocoded images can be automatically attached to the local data set so that every business has a photo on-line that Google or MSN found out in the ether and automatically attached to their local business record. Cool…