Tagged With local search

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TrueLocal's new iPhone app does pretty much what you'd expect: finds local businesses near the location your iPhone's GPS is transmitting, sorted by category and with Google Maps integration if you want to track them down on foot or by road.

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US Only: Crime-mapping mashup SpotCrime pulls data from city police records and news sources and plots it in an easy-to-snoop fashion. Choose a city, a time frame, and the types of offences you want to see, and you can mouse over the pinned icons to see thumbnail descriptions, or click an item for a full read. The site claims that humans are working in the background to make sense of the data, and that incidents show up anywhere from 3-24 hours after they're reported. A good tool for checking out a potential neighbourhood for moving or exploring, or just keeping up on what's going down across town.

SpotCrime

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Before you head out on the town tonight in New York City, find out where to get your thirsty hands on your favourite hard-to-find beer at BeerMenus.com. This menu search site just launched with over 150 beer menus, which include over 1200 beers. Browse by neighbourhood, brew, or bar to get a beer menu that lists price (by bottle and tap), alcohol content, and brewery, plus a map of the location, web site, hours, and phone number. BeerMenus.com is New York only (so far?) and isn't yet comprehensive in its coverage there, but it's off to a great start for beer-lovers in the Big Apple.

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In honour of Earth Day, Yahoo put together a "Free Is Good" web site promoting previously mentioned Freecycle, local mailing lists of folks who give away stuff they don't need. Pop your city and state into the search engine and get a map back of nearby groups. The Freecycle groups themselves are Yahoo Groups, so you have to join the group using your Yahoo ID to see messages (and often a moderator has to approve the membership request.) From there you can offer stuff you'd throw away anyway to give to your neighbours for free, and take them up on their offers, too.

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Google News recently added a localisation feature to its main page, gathering stories not just from local newspapers and web outlets, but supposedly from sources across the internet:

While we're not the first news site to aggregate local news, we're doing it a bit differently -- we're able to create a local section for any city, state or country in the world and include thousands of sources. We're not simply looking at the byline or the source, but instead we analyze every word in every story to understand what location the news is about and where the source is located.

Nifty stuff, and a good way to keep up on what's happening in your neck of the woods.

All News is Local

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US-centric: Google Maps mashup WhatsOpen pinpoints local businesses just like any other local search, then goes one step further by indicating which stores are currently open and which aren't. It's a simple concept, but if you're actually using local search to find somewhere to grab a cup of coffee or get something to eat, it's a really useful idea. Currently the search needs a little refining, and the public beta is California only (sign up for the full beta for US, EU, and China support), but this is one feature I'd kill to see integrated into Google Maps proper.

WhatsOpen

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Reader J.C. writes in:

I've been tasked with organizing at least 4 holiday lunches and dinners for various work-related teams and groups of friends in the next few weeks. I'm sick of all my regular out-to-eat haunts. What's the best way to find a great new restaurant?

Yelp would be my first recommendation; what about you? Where do you turn to find the perfect restaurant? Let us know in the comments.