Create and Edit all Your Maps with Click2Map for iPhone and iPad

We’re pleased to announce the availability of Click2Map for iPhone and iPad on the Apple App Store. The long awaited mobile version of Click2Map for mobile devices is finally here and you’ll now be able to access all your maps, wherever you are, whenever you need to.

Click2Map for iPhone and iPad is the natural addition to the web based Click2Map Editor: all the maps, groups and markers created with the online Editor are directly accessible from the mobile app and vice-versa. Click2Map users and customers no longer need to be sitting in front of their browser to be able to access their data – a simple internet connection and an iPhone or iPad are all that’s required to start mapping from the real world.

Make maps with Click2Map for iPhone and iPad

Click2Map for iPhone and the Click2Map Editor

Click2Map for iPhone and iPad comes with a host of exclusive new features taking full advantage of the mobile platform and hardware: GPS information makes it easy to create markers at the current location; adding photos to a marker by directly shooting them or selecting them from the phone’s gallery is a breeze; precisely repositioning markers on the spot to make sure they’re accurate is as simple as possible… The Timer mode even makes it possible to automatically generate new markers at regular intervals.

  • Create and manage mobile maps from your iPhone and iPad
  • Organize your personal or professional points of interest into groups
  • Seamlessly edit your maps and markers from the mobile app and the online Click2Map service
  • Customize your points of interest by taking advantage of the included icon libraries
  • Use the timer to automatically create markers at specific time intervals
  • Create a POI at your present GPS location and manually fine-tune its position if needed
  • Create POIs at any location on the map by manually positioning them
  • Create POIs by geolocating any street address
  • Create POIs directly from their coordinates (decimal and/or degrees)
  • Easily create rich POIs including photos – each POI has it own photo gallery

Click2Map for iPhone and iPad is free for everyone: it works with free and paying accounts.

If you’re reading this page on your iPhone or iPad, simply click on the App Store button to the left to open the Click2Map page on the App Store.

If a QR Code reading app is installed on your iPhone or iPad, simply scan the QR Code to the left to open the Click2Map page on the App Store.

If you’re reading this message on your desktop computer or your laptop, please open the App Store app on your iPhone or iPad and enter Click2Map in the Search page.

How to publish on website or share a map

If you want to embed your maps on your website or share with anybody the map you have created, it’s very simple.

To publish a map on your website (Widget method) :

  • Open the Click2Map Editor
  • Select the map to publish in “Map Explorer” tab if you have more than one.
  • Go to “Publish” tab and select “A widget Online on Click2map’s servers” (need premium account).
  • In the windows that opened, you can edit the property of the widget like size, apperance, zoom level, etc…
  • After customizing your widget simply click on “Publish”.
  • In the dialog box, copy the code, and just past it in your website page .
  • Your map in now on your website !

To share a map url with everyone you want, by email, instant messaging or social network, do the following step :

  • Open the Click2Map Editor
  • Select the map to publish in “Map Explorer” tab if you have more than one.
  • Go to “Publish” tab and select “Online on Click2map’s servers” (need premium account).
  • In the windows that opened, you can edit the property of the widget like size, apperance, zoom level, etc…
  • After customizing your widget simply click on “Publish”.
  • In the dialog box, copy the url, and just past it everywere you want .
  • You can spread your map to the world !

How to import venues from an Excel or CSV file

You have your business partners or retailers listing Excel file, and you want to put them on an interactive map ? It’s simple with the Click2map’s Editor. Just follow those steps:

1/ If you have an Microsoft Excel file with an address and city field, you need to export the file in an compatible format for Click2Map. One of the simple way to do that is to export your datas into a CSV file. If you already have an CSV file go to step 2.

  • Go to the File menu and choose Save As
  • In the Save As dialog box, go to the Type drop down menu and select CSV comma separated.
  • Specify the file name and location. Click on Save.

2/ Now you can import the datas… Open Click2Map Editor and:

  • In Add Tab click on Markers from a file
  • In the dialog box, after clicking Next, chose the file format of the file to import, in this example simply select CSV Comma separated. Click Next and chose the file you created in step 1, click Next and Import now!
  • In the Choose Columns Association dialog box, the system try to map your fields with your Click2Map categories automatically and show the result in the third column. If certain of your field stay highlighted you need to map them manually by clicking on your the name of your fiels, the correct Click2Map category and Associate button, and simply click OK.
  • Click2map then proceeds with the import as such, geocoding adresses (converting them into GPS data) and putting them on the map.

3/ It’s finished! Your map is done, now you can customise it, publish it or simply start using it within the Click2Map Editor!

Audi First Affiliate Of Google’s In-Car RevShare Model

Twitter German Car
Well is it Germans’ day or what? This morning, Twitter announced the launch of the German version of its site, a great news for the massive number of Twitter users in Germany. Almost instantaneously, Google announced its partnershsip with Audi, and the integration of Google Earth in the new A8.

As Germans, with a natural born passion for cars, we’re very excited about this newest milestone and we hope that drivers will have that same “ooh” and “aah” reaction when exploring Google Earth from the Audi A8.

Herzlich willkommen, Audi!

From within your new A8 car, you get access to:
Google Earth
Google Maps
Local Search
Wikipedia and other types of layers


Why did Audi decided to work with Google? Since Google ditched TeleAtlas, word has been that Google is not doing such a good job with its own geodata.

Since an Audi 8 costs between $70,000 and $120,000, I guess a buyer would expect the geodata to be quite accurate. Actually, when you look on the Audi Website, it seems like Earth was already a product of the Audi Quattro. Google didn’t really talk about Earth in the Quattro, so I guess they are doing it now with the Audi A8 for two reasons:

1. Now Local Search is part of the products provided by Google.
2. It is a much more powerful branding operation to be associated with the Audi A8 then it is to be associated with the Quattro.

I guess the next episode will be with Google’s Navigation System in a Ferrari.

As a side note, this project with Audi was led by the Google Automotive Team. Oddly enough, there is no page online that talks specifically about this team. There is Melissa Grusch’ LinkedIn profile, a “West Coast Automotive Team Manager at Google with only one network connection.
There is also a press release from a media company that tells us a little more about why Audi would want Google as a partner:

the GoogleTM Automotive team has thorough knowledge of the advertising business, combined with relationships in the highest levels of the automotive industry. This will benefit our Automotive clients more than ever, and help them grow their business and maximize their return on their marketing investment.

Ad Revshare! The main advantage of Google over its geo-competitors is that they are into monetizing their maps with hyperlocal ads. Audi just became the first Adsense automobile affiliate!

PlaceRank: A User-Generated Geo-Content Strategy Is Also Required

Last week, Google Maps sent out about 100,000 stickers throughout the US to small merchants registered on the Google’s Local Business Center. Not all registered merchants got a sicker with a QR code, only those with a higher PlaceRank did.

On a different parallel, a writer of SearchEngineLand noticed that some businesses are indexed as landmarks in Google Maps, and wonders how PlaceRank is affecting this status. Keir Clarke from Google Maps Mania offers the most comprehensive explanation about PlaceRank and what affects it.


Form Google’s Favorite Places FAQ page:

“The list (for the 100,000 stickers) was determined based on the popularity of a business’ Local Business Center listing, as determined by how many times Google users looked for more information about a business, requested driving directions to get there, and more. Google users “decided” based on their actions, and we sent the decals.”

However, Keir Clarke notes that behavioral analysis is not the only factor in placeranking businesses. In 2006, Google filed a patent for a geospatial ranking system. From Google Maps Mania:

Based on the patent application it is likely that Google are also using other criteria than just a business’ popularity in the Local Business Center. These criteria probably include authoritative recommendations and user recommendations, ratings and reviews from a number of trusted websites.

He then recommends to check out any Place Page and look at the external links chosen by Google to understand who those trusted sites are (Citysearch, Zagat, Yelp…).

When you look at those business pages, you also see another interesting element on the page:

user-generated content on Google Places' Pages

User content! Finding user content on a business page is a hint that user-generated geo-content plays a part in the evaluation of a PlaceRank. Obviously Google crowdsources its intelligence, and since Google is about to index geodata from Google Maps’ third-party-generated maps, I wish to paraphrase something I’ve said before: If you are a search marketer, and you recognize that maps generate search value, then you need to use Click2Map to start getting more control on your indexed geodata.

Landmark Status, PlaceRank, And Google Maps Mashups

landmarks

A few months back, Google Maps released icons and labels for businesses and prominent places on their maps. The new feature is intended to make discovering places easier. Clicking on an icon opens a classic marker’s window withholding info about that place (business info, reviews, photos, Wikipedia articles, and a lot of other local information).

Following up on this new feature integration, Chris Silver Smith writes in SearchEngineLand that some places are marked by Google Maps as landmarks, thus getting more exposure in various zoom level and density scenarios. Some of those landmarks are businesses, ultimately making them more visible and more competitive than non-landmarked businesses. Hence the question how can your business achieve landmark status in Google Maps?


click an icon on Google Maps

Chris Silver Smith investigated this question, and pulls back 5 factors that could influence the landmark status:

1. Business category: Entertainment seems to be a favorite.
2. Zoom level, business density: Landmark visibility more likely in less dense areas.
3. Years in business: Older seems better.
4. Authority/Popularity: Rank on search engines.
5. Related Wikipedia page

Those parameters for landmark status success sound plausible. However, there is one aspect of Google Maps’ indexing technology that hasn’t been discussed much, even though I find it to be a crucial one that could also influence the landmark status: Google Maps mashups’ data.

Recently, Google Maps announced that it would start indexing content from third-party-created maps to broaden search results.

When Google crawls the Web and see that a thousand sites link to one specific Website, than it concludes that this Website is important. What happens if Google Maps’ crawl thousands of maps and discover that one place has been marked thousands of times, with consistency in the content data every time. Wouldn’t that favor Google Maps to consider this one place as a landmark? Couldn’t it contribute to a place’s PlaceRank?

I think being a popular place on Google Maps’ third-party maps is something that will gradually become a competitive edge in the local search business.

Fly Like A Bird On Google Maps

a bird's eye view
Today, the Google Maps team is announcing a new feature (again) to its mapping tool: Bird’s eye view. Until today, you could use Google’s imagery technology to see the earth from space (Google Earth) and streets in details (StreetView). Now Bird’s Eye View bridges the gap between Google’s macro and micro views of the world.

As mentioned on the LatLong Blog, this tool will be specifically beneficial for real estate professionals, as well as for holiday resorts. Google Maps’ real estate partners (orbitz, Trulia, Redfin) are already beta testing it while more areas get coverage (right now, only San Jose and San Diego are covered).

We’re very excited about how these new perspectives on a property will help to improve your geographic searching, whether it’s for a new home, a great hotel for your next trip, or any of the other cool uses that developers come up with.


Once again, Google gets deeper in the real estate business after they released a real estate search engine a few months back.

After ten seconds of playing with the bird’s eye view feature, you get bored. There is nothing ground-breaking in terms of interactivity for any given Joe like me. However, have a look at the quality of the pictures, and the smoothness of the navigation, and you will understand right away how real estate pros are interested in such a technology.

My main concern with this tool is: How many times a year will they be updating the images. Earth and Streetview were not specifically developed for professionals, but for everyone. However, he Bird’s eye view seems to be something real estate businesses were asking for, and were ready to invest some of their money into it as well. Therefore, in this B2B-type of arrangement, isn’t Google obliged to update their images regularly, at the risk of showing a field instead of the new suburban area that was built there in the past nine months?

Also as a sidenote, I wonder if Roost’s blog will change its name now…

Via Zoorglob.

Google Maps Opens Labs, Fun!

It took a while for online mapping and the mobile Web to converge, but now it seems like they are inseparable. As a gift before the holidays, the Google Maps team launched a Labs feature for the Google Maps application on Android phones. This is the third Labs that Google is opening to developers and beta users, the two preceding ones being the Search and the Gmail Labs.

Is Google trying to make their maps a bit more entertaining? That’s quite possible. In 24 hours, Google launched a Maps Labs, stickers for local businesses, and Favorite Places on Google Earth. All of a sudden, Google Maps gained a whole lot of interactivity, and something tell me that 2010 will be the year for Latitude.


Until then, let’s all enjoy the Maps Labs on Android, which offers the following features:

- Display a scale bar on the map, to get an idea of how far apart things on the map are
show a terrain layer, to help plan your hike or cross-country ski trip;
- Search for popular categories, so you never have to type in “Vietnamese restaurant” or “bowling alleys” again;
- Turn the blue My Location dot into a compass arrow that shows the direction you’re facing when stationary;
- Add a Layers button to the screen so you can quickly toggle layers like Traffic, Satellite, Latitude, and Transit Lines.

I wonder if the popular categories are going to become Google Maps’ most profitable, hyperlocal ad revenue…

Stickers, Google’s Plot To Dominate Local Businesses

Google Favorite Places

A few month ago, Google launched a world-wide buzz with real-size map markers distributed to a selected few shops and restaurants in the major capitals of the World. This operation was meant to raise awareness about Google’s Local Business Center.

Since Google can’t really give every merchants a huge marker, they are now getting in stage 2 of their guerrilla marketing strategy: Today the team is announcing the launch of an operation that will consist of sending a sticker to all the local merchants listed in Google’s Local Business Lists.


As demonstrated in the video below, the sticker contains a QR code that can be snapped with any given smartphone. Each merchant will get his unique sticker with his unique QR code, and when passers-by will snap the code, it will take them directly to a mobile version of the business’ page on Google’s Places.

Will that thing take off? By placing such a sticker, merchants are giving away the control over their image to Google: What if a bad review sits on top of a business’ reviews? What if a business’ reviews get hijacked by a bunch of reviewers (like a group of 12 who didn’t like the service). Those problems already exist today, but bad reviews are not displayed on a business’ storefront like it would with Google’s stickers.

Also, as mentioned on Google Maps Mania, Google uses a PlaceRank to target merchants and send them stickers. What affects a PlaceRank? Reviews? Visits? Star ranking system? Is Google planning on borrowing Foursquare’s check-in approach to contribute to the strength of a PlaceRank?

So are stickers really the answer?

Locate An IP Address On A Map

Today, I had to check on an IP address of someone who left a comment on my blog to better identify the location of that person. Thus I discovered GeoBytes. In short, here is what you get with an IP address:

GeoBytes IP Locator

That’s it! Super simple, ain’t it? The info is, of course, approximate. However, if you have some additional data to compare it with, then it does the job. And with the latlong provided, you can easily place it as a marker on a map.