Maps, Foodies, and Layers

Content is King and creating good content that your target audience finds interesting is challenging. Heck, just writing a daily blog post usually takes me an hour or two. That’s why I really admire small companies like Tasting Table that take the time to track the local foodie scene here in San Francisco (and other cities in the US) and tell me about it via daily emails, an app and a web site.

But because it’s so hard to create good, relevant content I’d like it to be really easy to access. Tasting Table’s content should be much easier to access than their current app. Not that the app is bad, but access to the content should be immediate and location-driven.

Classic Maps: the Road Atlas

Classic Maps: the Road Atlas

Which is why I’d like to see Google Maps allow even more customizable layers of metadata. Right now the Maps API is for using Google Maps in other applications or web sites: “Google Maps has a wide array of APIs that let you embed the robust functionality and everyday usefulness of Google Maps into your own website.” What I’d like to see is the other direction: let me import additional metadata into Google Maps.

When I’m on the go I prefer to open one app only to see where I am and where I’m heading and usually that app is Maps.  It would be fantastic if I could also import maps already created by others into “my” Maps app. For example, take a look at this fantastic travel guide by Tasting Table on places to eat and drink in Washington DC, a town I’m not familiar with. Scroll down and you’ll see the great map that TT created with all their recommendations on top of Google Maps. Great content, right?

However, right now the only way I have to taking this content with me is to either open it up on the app (takes a few clicks) or import the places one by one into my maps by searching for and favoriting them. Neither is convenient.

Google Maps should allow me to import all this data into my map at once and assign the locations a star in any color I choose, for all places at once. It’s OK to allow the import functionality to work only on the desktop as long as it’s viewable on the app. That way when I open up my map app in some random street in Washington DC, I’ll see a black star belonging to a recommended Tasting Table location right around the corner. Also, if the additional data is presented as a “layer” (like traffic and bicycling are now) I can add them when I need them and remove when my map view gets too busy.

What say you, Pegman?



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