Google Maps has been around much longer than there have been local guides, so I think it safe to assume that most of the points of interest (POI) did not appear on the map because a local guide added it. My best guess is that there has been some kind of original import to populate the map with POIs. And it would then make sense that, for a lot of countries, this was an import of databases coming from official government or chamber of commerce listings.
That would explain the fact that so many businesses are listed on the map with a name that looks like it comes from such a database. One clue pointing in this direction is the addition of legal terms as part of the business name: ‘LLC’ in English, ‘GmbH’ in German, etc. The format of the name can be another telltale sign, which is something you typically Continue reading →
“The status quo isn’t worth protecting. It’s so easy to be in reaction, on the defensive, fighting for the world we had yesterday. Fight for something better, something we haven’t seen yet, something you have to invent.”
As you might have noticed while observing every life around you these days, quite a few of the phenomena that have become extremely popular among a large part of the population (obviosuly including a sizeable chunck of your customers) are focused on sharing things – more often than not online. On Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter to name just a few.
A smaller group of people is sharing not only their personal experiences and the pictures of their pets (or kids, or food, or hobbies, or any combination of those – never seen the one with the cat seemingly playing the guitar being chased by the kid covered in spagehtti sauce?), but also knowlegde and/or useful information. Wikipedia is the obvious example there. But also the Local Guide initiative from Google belongs in this category: ordinary people all over the world Continue reading →
Earlier this year, Google introduced a new feature for the Android version of Google Maps. This is how Google describes it: “In Google Maps, you can ask and answer questions about the places and business you see. Business owners and others can respond to these Q&As directly.” Very nice feature for the users of Google Maps, right? In my view, it indeed is – but there are some important and potentially problematic aspects of it that both the users of Google Maps and the owners of businesses shown on Google Maps are completely unaware of. Continue reading →
One of the podcasts* I regularly listen to is HBR Ideacast and a while ago I heard an episode featuring Ron Friedman on how to structure your day to get the most done. One of the claims he makes is that you should not check your email at the beginning of your working day. I completely disagree. Continue reading →
Amazon hates Belgium. Or at least that is the conclusion I’m inclined draw after having been an Amazon customer for quite a few years now. On several occasions I’ve come across services Amazon is offering that sound really great to me, only to find out – a numbers of steps into the signing up process – that the service is not available in Belgium, the country I spend most of my time in.