Google Goes Local
Google has launched a beta version of a service that lets users conduct Internet searches with geographical parameters.
The new service allows users to query Google, for example, for restaurants in and around a particular city or zip code, the company says.
Called Google Local, the service returns business listings, maps, driving directions, street addresses, phone numbers, and related Web pages, Google says in a statement.
The results can be narrowed down to one mile of the specified geographical reference chosen by the user or expanded out to a 45-mile radius.
Google Local currently searches locations in the U.S., but the company plans to expand it to international markets in the coming months, Google says.
Google Local was posted to the company's Google Labs page in September 2003 and as of Wednesday it's considered to be in beta testing mode, which means that Google will continue to refine it.
Rival Yahoo last week enhanced its Yahoo Maps service by allowing users to query for local information after requesting the map of a specific area. The Google and Yahoo local search services are similar in that they return business listings, maps, driving directions and the like.