Local search and directory site SuperPages.com has upgraded its mapping functionality, adding a range of sharing and personalization features built on top of the Microsoft Virtual Earth platform. SuperPages’ chief online yellow pages competitor, YellowPages.com also uses Virtual Earth.
The new SuperPages mapping capabilities include:
• Map multi-task – Find a florist, pick up some tasty Chinese food, and rent a movie nearby. Search for up to three business categories at once within a mapped area;
• Look around – Get a great bird’s eye view of a city, neighborhood, travel destination, business or landmark;
• Travel smart – Find hotels, restaurants and banks near your travel destination;
• Review it – Find the business by name, read reviews and get key business facts;
• Plan a commute – Avoid road hazards by viewing current speed conditions and real-time traffic updates;
• Take it to go – Get simple turn-by-turn detailed driving directions, print it in different options including map only, map and text, text only or a custom map, and take it to go;
• Save favorites – Save specific businesses or frequently visited locations; and
• Share with friends – Share maps with friends by sending them via e-mail or to a cell phone.
Virtual Earth has emerged as something of the platform of choice for directory sites. The irony here is that SuperPages had dynamic mapping — albeit not as rich as today — before Google and Yahoo! offered it. However, it was buried and not well promoted by Verizon, the then parent of SuperPages.
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