Will It Blend? Yes!

Thursday, March 12, 2009 at 10:35 AM


As an engineer working on Google Maps, I often talk with my coworkers about how some of the most interesting data comes from the geo-community. It's because of this that we've recently taken yet another step on our quest to make Google Maps more user driven: fully blending user-created content into our search results.

Some of our more regular users may have noticed that we'd been sparingly doing this for a while now, occasionally surfacing results from KML, GeoRSS, or Wikipedia we crawl from the web, along with photos and videos we think would be useful - but now we've opened the floodgates! From now on, you can expect to see more higher quality user-created content to show up, often intermixed with our traditional results. Here are some examples of queries that now have more useful blended results:

In New York City and looking for good street food?
Try "falafel carts in nyc" to see what users had to say.

Looking for information about the bridge collapse that happened in Minnesota last year?
Search for "bridge collapse in MN" to see pictures, animations, and 3d-models.

Planning a vacation and want some recommendations?
Try searching for "snorkeling costa rica" to see some options.

Thanks to content from the geo-community, our results are richer and more informative than ever. We'll continue to work hard to show the best of the best, and of course, to attribute them to their authors. So keep adding that great content, whether through My Maps or getting your KML indexed.