Urban Mapping: Bringing the Vernacular Online

Ian White’s Urban Mapping is doing its best to make local search sound and operate the way people actually think and speak. I’ve written about this before but the official geographic designations (cities, zips) often belie the way people actually live. For example, I live in an area of Oakland, CA called “Montclair.”

There is no official Montclair in my area. Montclair, CA is in Southern California, near San Bernadino. And then just using the term “Montclair” often sends you to New Jersey.

But I don’t want a list of Southern California hair salons, sushi places or wine stores when I do a search on “wine shops, Montclair” (or worse, New Jersey). This is where personalized search and default locations start to really add value. This issue is even more pronounced in a real estate context where neighborhoods rule over official designations.

You get the issue.

But Urban Mapping is adding the ability to do category searches on Ask City like “Deco Ghetto” in San Francisco (note the outline of the area — very nice) or “LoDo” in Denver and deliver better results. Beyond Ask, others are queuing up this capability should be more widespread in the near future.

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One Response to “Urban Mapping: Bringing the Vernacular Online”

  1. When In Rome... « eNeighbors.com Blog Says:

    […] In Rome… Greg Sterling has a great post today on his blog, Screenwerk. He is once again stressing the importance of local/neighborhood level […]

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