Google Transit + Google Local Could Come True?

March 29, 2006

Topics: Google.

Just a few days ago, I wrote about this great idea of combining Google Local with Google Transit. I still think it’s a great idea – and apparently, Google has already been thinking about it. Yesterday, Bill Slawski posted a patent on customizing travel directions, which talked about an idea of being able to produce multiple sets of travel instructions through the Google interface.

In itself, this isn’t exactly related – but he also referred back to an earlier patent, Visually-oriented driving directions in digital mapping system, which included a discussion of a related advertising scheme where businesses may "bid or otherwise pay to be included as a waypoint." Fundamentally, this is what I was discussing. It’s not quite as, well, free as what I had in mind – but it would serve the purpose.

Unfortunately, if the system comes forward as a purely advertising supported service, it’ll inevitably be incomplete. It may depend on cost – if priced the same way as the yellow pages, most business may well jump on that bandwagon very quickly. There will always be those small businesses which I’d love to support if I could only find out about them, however.

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4 Comments to “Google Transit + Google Local Could Come True?”

  1. It might be handy if the pub crawl generator also included places along the way you could collapse and sleep it off…entertaining tool, though – I like the ‘word crawl’ option!

    But back on topic, with mobile access to this combination of tools I can easily imagine suddenly remembering something I forgot to get before leaving home and being able to simply check what’s closest to the next stop. Much easier than just going to the nearest place you know of every time.

  2. Sharing maps would be fun. I could see people sending them off to their friends, or making them available to share.

    Of course, those could be used for more than shopping. Scavenger hunts, planning road trips. Maybe improve upon this pub crawl generator.

  3. I have to admit, I love seeing comments on my blog, here…

    I’ve seen a wide variety of mash-up style walking maps that people have labored over to provide their ‘personal maps’ of various cities. It would be great to not only be able to create walking maps with shops and other services, but to be able to share your personal favorites in a Web 2.0 style service.

    Could be a lot of fun, in addition to being flat out useful!

  4. Hi Joe,

    I’m looking forward to seeing how this all takes shape. I think that some type of integration between maps/transit/local is what we will see in the future.

    Imagine being able to make a walking/subway map through Boston, and have all of the book stores (they have some nice ones there) shown on the map, regardless of whether or not they have paid.

    And being able to change the map around so that you can go along a path that has the most bookstores as you walk, or take the subway.

    Maybe the “paid” advertising part of this would be to enable places to include information about what goods and services that they offer.

    Show me how to get to the subway or train, places where I can stop along the way (of my choice), and what times I need to be there to catch a ride.

    I’d imagine that it would also be possible to save these routes for mobile phone viewing. That would be pretty nice.