I’ve been talking about this day for years. And although Droid wasn’t out then, one of the favorite BS topics around search conferences was how Google could leverage Business A to advertise or at least contribute data. The answer is a mashup of Droid, Google Maps and Business B willing to advertise.
The actual news part
Google announced today that Street View will have local business annotations. Street View is that nifty section of Google Maps when the traditional maps disappear and are replaced by photographic images of the area. Street View now has those little boxes from Google Places overlaid on the images. Take a look at the image below that Google is using on its blog.
The wildly speculative part
So this is a terrific upgrade to functionality. I’ve asked more than once while looking at Maps, “Hey what building is that again? No, not in this picture. Even an East Coast guy like me recognizes San Francisco landmark buildings. But look closely at the photo. Now you can see individual businesses in those buildings.
And you know that really, really nifty feature about searching Google Maps for a business? How about you search for George’s Pizza, but he happens not to be an advertiser. Up on your Droid phone pops the lovely Street View with directions and reviews just like it’s shown above. But Sara’s Pizza, just three blocks away, is an advertiser and has a coupon associated with their account.
Up pops the coupon in a little window. Sure, go have a slice at George’s, but you get 2 slices for the price of 1 at Sara’s.
That’s potentially how an information company leverages two small businesses against each other. And that’s only one way.
But Google Maps’ Street View is an awesome tool.