Google Maps for Android: Now you can see your rated places and discover new ones directly on the map

Since the My Places tab was released earlier this summer, you’ve been able to view all the places you’ve rated in one manageable list. This list is now being used to personalize your view of Google Maps, enabling you to visualize all the various places you’ve visited, loved, loathed, and might want to check out right on the map.

Starting today, business labels for locations you’ve rated with Google Places will be highlighted on the map with your corresponding rating beneath it. Additional places that our system thinks you might enjoy visiting — either to eat, shop, or more — will be highlighted as well. These personalized recommendations are based on the places and ratings you’ve already shared.

Rated Foreign Cinema 5 Stars. Ritual Coffee & Spork are recommended by Google Places
Whereas old paper road maps only became “personalized” when you accidentally folded them the wrong way, spilled a drink on them while driving or physically got out a highlighter to circle locations of interest, we hope this simple and lightweight way of emphasizing the places you’ve shared your opinions about makes Google Maps even more personal, relevant and helpful.

These highlighted map labels are available on the desktop and Google Maps for Android. To get started, sign in with your Google account and either check out a place you’ve rated or contribute more Places ratings.

Updates in Google Offers Beta

Google Offer’s Beta in Portland started on June 1 and there have been 5 deals in total to this point. Here is a summary of the deals to date:
Date Co./URL Deal % off Purchase


Avail. Sold
6/1 Floyd’s Coffee $3 for $10 work of food 70% 15 hrs 2000 1709
6/2 Uptown Billiards $10 for $200 worth of Pool 50% 15 hrs 500 95
6/3 Karam Lebansese $8 for $16 of Lebanese Food 50% 15 hrs 500 0
6/4 Celebrity Tan $10 for $39 Spray Tan 74% 39 hrs NA 157
6/5 Portland Pedicab $45 for a $90 3 brewery pub tour 50% 23 hrs 700 15 but still open


Other than the first deal at Floyd’s the volume has been very low to moderate. On the ground anecdotal evidence indicated that Floyd’s was not that busy so it is not unlikely that being the first deal, that many of the offers purchased were by those in the industry assessing Google’s product. I guess Floyd’s won’t mind. Rocky Agrawal also noted that “the early ones get benefit of local press. All 4 tv stations and newspapers covered the story.”

In a conversation with one of the participants they shared with some interesting factoids:

– They were paying Google 50% of the proceeds. “Same as Groupon”

– The rep servicing the account did visit but is stationed in Los Angeles NOT in Portland

Replicating Groupon’s success will not be quick and it will not be easy for Google. Not only do you need a sales force but you need a great list of subscribers and popular businesses willing to give incredible discounts. Clearly Google is not anywhere near there yet if you take the sales number as an indicator. How long it will take will be interesting to see.

Bing Spatial Data Services – Next Gen Spatial Search Comes to the Bing API

In August of 2001, we released the MapPoint Web Service that introduced spatial search and data hosting capabilities for our users. Since then, large and small businesses, government agencies and non-profits have used the service to support geospatial functionality such as store locators, fleet tracking, and real estate applications for their customers.

Today, we launched Bing Spatial Data Services, adding next generation spatial search to the Bing API offering. This release offers the benefits of cloud hosting and distributed computing, allowing customers to upload their data to our servers and perform spatial queries under the umbrella of their existing Bing Maps License.

Here’s a little more detail about what the service does and how it works.

Geocode Dataflow API (Batch Geocode):

  • Use it to batch geocode large sets of data (upload a process a then download)

Data Source Management API (Load):

    • Use to load, manage (update, delete) data for long term hosting.
    • Data can be in a file or a Windows Azure™ Blob Service location.
    • Load is required before being able to query with Query API.

Query API (Spatial Query):

    • Used to query hosted data; a query response can contain a maximum number of 250 results (the new Bing Maps AJAX v7 makes light work of displaying large numbers of points on a map)

By Area <aka FindNearby>:

· Either specify a center point (radius search) or bounding box to search for matching entities. Use built in filters to refine the response. Results are “as the crow flies”. Example:

How many matching entities fall within this specified area (circle or rectangle)?

By Property:

· Search a hosted data source for one or more entities by specifying property values. Example:

Return all entities (customers) with sales person John Smith.

By ID:

· Specify an entity ID and receive in response all related information for the given entity. Example for Contoso Corporation:

For entity of ID “Contoso Store 1200”, return all associated property information (store #, address, open times, WiFi, etc)

For entity of ID “Contoso’s Best Coffee Store 5”, return all associated property information (store #, address, open times, WiFi, etc)

For more details, you can check out our documentation, or sign up for our upcoming webcast on March 1st. Try it out and let us know what you think.

Max Artemov
Senior Program Manager
Bing Mobile