Yesterday Yahoo! introduced a great new tool for Local, which allows users to expand, narrow or drag a circle on the map and get category results by neighborhood or customized area:
In other words, if I perform a search for restaurants in a city and I want to zero in on a particular neigbhorhood I don’t have to go back to the search box. I can just drag my circle to the desired area and the new, location specific listings will appear.
This capability is a more advanced version of similar functionality introduced on Ask City shortly after that product launched more than a year ago. However the new Yahoo tool is easier to use.
In both Google and Microsoft Live Search Maps I can use neighborhood terms to find restaurants or other desired businesses in particular areas. But if I want to see what’s around in another area I have to use the search box again. The Yahoo! tool is faster and easier.
Related: Google is promoting Maps/Transit on busses in Chicago. After the outdoor experiments for Goog411, this marks basically the second time that Google has done highly visible consumer marketing for one of its products. I wonder if it means that this kind of thing will be more common in the future. I would imagine so . . .