Map of the Week: Airbnb
Why we like it: Airbnb has created a really great ‘search by map’ interface for their vacation rentals services. There’s also a really nice implementation of Google Street View to help renters make an informed decision about the rental and the surrounding neighborhood.
For a lot of people, the months of June, July, and August mean vacation time. As the price of just about everything rises, it can be difficult to find a unique and exciting place to stay within your budget. Luckily there’s Airbnb, which is a great way to find short-term accommodations rented out by private parties.
When it comes to finding the perfect place to stay, location is everything and Airbnb has invested heavily in creating mapping tools to make the right connections. A nice feature of the website is the ability to search by map for places to rent. The search interface is intuitive and easy to use.
For security reasons, you aren’t able to know the exact property or the exact address, but Airbnb places you in the right neighborhood so that you can use Street View to get a better idea of what’s around. A nice added UI feature is a “Rotate Street View” button, which automatically glides the imagery around the neighborhood.
Airbnb is a global operation and there’s a Google Map for everywhere there are Airbnb rentals (which is just about every corner of the globe). So wherever you’re travelling, there’s a good chance that Airbnb has rental for you and Google Maps API tools to help you find it. Good luck and safe travels on your next vacation!
“The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.”
– Albert Einstein (1879–1955)
Sales kick off…
This week, focus on giving more for the dollars you earn (with your effort, with your product/ service) and you’ll find more will come your way. It may not always happen as quickly as you’d like, but it’s the better bet in the long run.
Google continues to make upgrades to Places and Maps having recently announced a wider rollout of Google Business Photos. As noted last week there have been a number of changes/additions to Places pages themselves.
Adam Dorfman of SimPartners pointed out this additional visual upgrade to the Hotel booking feature. The new emphasis makes the feature more obvious by adding its own subheading, emphasizing the dates and bolding the price on a contrasting color.
Another change that occurred last week was that the photos, which had been much lower on the page, also are now appearing above the fold.
Google has often indicated that they will continue to change and move the content of the Places Page based on their perception of end user utility. If that is the decision criteria of how they reached the current layout the implications are not quite believable.
By that logic the review totals being duplicated above the fold implies that Google’s own reviews and fully formed review content are somehow less valuable than 3 party review totals. Google would also have to argue that users really want to do little more in Places than book a hotel.
It would seem that politics, business relations and income considerations more likely explanations for the new layout.