Neighborhood Search on Google

Trulia has it, Ask.com has it (there may be others) and now Google has it: neighborhood search capability. The benefits and rationale behind this are obvious — aligning the capabilities of the engine to the way people actually think and live in the real world. It’s absolutely essential for real estate but also an important capability in the quest to improve local search.

From the Google Lat Long Blog post:

You can now do searches such as bagels upper east side new york and restaurants, over the rhine, cincinnati on Google Maps. Additionally, this capability allows you to do city-level searches where the city is uniquely named, regardless of size, such as bakery corpus christi, or movie theater albuquerque.

Among other improvements, Yahoo! recently added color-coded demarcation of neighborhoods to Maps, but in a couple of quick searches I performed in New York and the SF Bay Area (where the neighborhood maps have been introduced) the underlying data doesn’t yet seem to be “mapped” to those neighborhoods.

Unless Google has built this itself, there are currently two providers of this capability, to my knowledge, Urban Mapping and HomeGain.

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Postscript: I’m also reminded by Yelp’s Jeremy Stoppelman that Yelp has had this neighborhood feature/search capability for a long time. He says they “may have been the first.”

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7 Responses to “Neighborhood Search on Google”

  1. Google Maps adds Neighborhoods - We Have Them Since More Than a Year Now at Locally Type* Local Search & Maps Says:

    [...] Greg’s post made me aware of this – and reminded me to put the Google LatLong Blog to my feed reader list. [...]

  2. Niki Scevak Says:

    Greg, I believe the first was actually Homegain, who went out and coded all the neighborhoods in major metro areas. I think Trulia licensed the data from them, at least in their initial incarnation.

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    Yes, I believe you’re right. HomeGain was the first to develop the system and Trulia is using it.

  4. Darrin Clement Says:

    Since Maponics offers the boundaries in a GIS format, doesn’t this mean anybody can add them to their own mashup?

  5. Greg Sterling Says:

    I don’t see any neighborhood-level functionality in my quick look at the site.

  6. Neighborhood Mapping at Ghost of Midnight Says:

    [...] include Maponics, Yahoo!, Yelp and others, according to Screenwerk and Unhandled Perception, among [...]

  7. Darrin Clement Says:

    I guess there are some sites that offer the functionality (a web app of some sort) and then others that just license the raw data. Anybody know where Yahoo is getting their neighborhood boundaries?

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