The Future of Google Places

The Google Lat Long Blog has formally announced the changes to Places that roll out earlier in the day with their normal happy talk:

Making constant tweaks and adjustments to our user interfaces and overall user experience have always been the norm at Google, and you may have recently heard about our renewed effort across all Google products to make the user experience more focused, elastic and effortless. Changes have already started to appear on Google Maps, and we’ve now simplified our Place pages across desktop and mobile devices as well.

But there was one thing that was unique in today’s post about the change that departed from the past. For the first time that I can remember Google has provided, even if guarded and vague, some clue about the future direction of Places:

Beyond today’s transition, our long-term vision for local search includes:
  • Bringing you more personalized results when you search for local places — because we understand that information from the people you know is most meaningful;
  • Integrating some of the great information that’s been buried on Place pages into your web search experience across all Google platforms;
  • Giving you more ways to rate, discover and share places you love faster and easier than ever, wherever you are, and on whichever device you choose.

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