Location services - must try harder
Why it sucksLocation services suck because it's inherently hard to map the collection of information on the Internet to physical locations. Most of it just wont map because it's not about something physical. It's obvious, but true - most of the Internet isn't about a place, or a thing that is likely to stay in one place. This post for example, or this blog's homepage - neither are about anything specific. My house isn't It's hard to map because language is imprecise, physical location isn't. When you're looking for a nearby restaurant a blog post with a review of a restaurant in London probably won't give you an address and probably won't even link to a site that will. It's become the job of search to try and link the post, a very difficult job - was the post about London, England; London in Ontario or one of the dozens of other Londons around the world. At best the search engine might be able to link the name with another URL that contains an address - but there are no guarantees the name is unique or the address is right. Sending letters for physical addresses with an activation code is one approach Google has tried, I'm not sure how successful it's been though - I haven't noticed locations search has stopped sucking, so I assume it's not the silver bullet.
Suddenly it doesn't suck anymoreServices for producers and users to announce and tie information to physical locations is going to be the catalyst that really makes local search and local information portals of all kinds take off. It won't be long until someone comes along with a killer solution.
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