1. Computing

Local Search

How To Find a Local Search Engine or Site

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Some of the most interesting sites and search engines making their debuts today are those that are focused on local search, whether that be local real estate, local weather, or local news. Here are just a few of the local search sites that I've come across lately:

  • Craigslist: My favorite local search site, and one that I check somewhat addictively at least five times a day.
  • Google Local Maps: find a local map, driving directions, or a local business.
  • Yahoo Local: In my opinion, one of the best local search sites on the market today. Searchers can write reviews of local businesses, a nice touch when you're looking for the best ice cream, for example.
  • Ask Local Search: Search by city or zip with a keyword and you'll get a detailed list of services along with a map.
  • MSN City Guides: a long list of major cities in the US with personalized features and "best of" lists for each. An interesting new local search service.
  • Trulia: Trulia is a local real estate search engine, ' "that helps consumers search for homes for sale, trends, neighborhood insights and other real estate information directly from hundreds of thousands of real estate broker Web sites."
  • PropSmart: Another local real estate search engine: "Propsmart is a next-generation, independent real estate search engine and online community."
  • Oodle: A local classifieds search engine. You can read more about Oodle.
  • Windows Live Local: Updated with some pretty nice features such as a scratch pad and pushpins.
  • Meetup: Find a local Meetup event in your area; great way to promote your club or community.
  • Yelp: Local restaurant reviews and much more; find out what it's like before you spend your money.
  • Angie'sList: get reviews of local home improvement contractors in about 75 different major metropolitan areas.
  • Backfence.com: " Backfence captures community knowledge and makes it available to all—information you can’t get anywhere else." Mostly in the Virginia and Maryland area but they're expanding.
  • Zipingo: "Zipingo is the fastest way to find the best local businesses based on community feedback."
  • Freecycle:"The Freecycle Network™ is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns." This is a great example of "one man's trash is another man's treasure."
  • Blogdigger: find blogs authored by folks in your local area.
  • EarthTools: Find local places, sunrise and sunset times, elevation, local time zones, and more with EarthTools.
  • UpMyStreet: "Our easy-to-use pages let you search and compare detailed information about a specific postcode, city, town, district or region."
  • Google Transit: "Google Transit Trip Planner enables you to enter the specifics of your trip—where you're starting, where you're ending up, what time of day you'd like to leave and/or arrive—then uses all available public transportation schedules and information to plot out the most efficient possible step-by-step itinerary." Only covers Portland Oregon right now, but more cities are coming soon.
Local search definitely is taking off, as you can see from this long list. I think that as more people search the Web for strictly local search items, that we'll only see more great local search offerings.

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