My Kingdom For A Map
I can’t imagine it’s that hard to make an interactive map where you pick a city (or town, if you have to go to the Pella Showroom in Morton Grove and want to find somewhere to go for dinner around there) and then it just shows you the restaurants in that city (or town).
Both Google and Yahoo maps (even Yahoo Local Maps, which you think would be a little more “local” oriented) only let you search for something specific. If I search for “restaurant” in Morton Grove, I get restaurants, all right. But only restaurants with “restaurant” in the name. Like McDonald’s Restaurant and Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers Restaurant. I’m sure they both include that keyword in the name just for that reason. (I tried “food” too which seemed to be a little more high-level in it’s results, but also gave me 7-Eleven Food Stores as a #3 choice)
Not only that, but since I’m searching in all of Morton Grove, there could be restaurants that are no where near where I’m going (well, okay, it’s not like Morton Grove is that big, but what if I were doing this in the city of Chicago?).
Yelp does the best job (once you figure out how to use it), because they let you redo your search within the map, and you can just search for all businesses in Morton Grove, and then narrow it by category (like restaurants that don’t necessarily have restaurant in the name). But, with only minor offense intended, their interface sucks. Unlike Google or Yahoo who provide a large map area, Yelp’s map is small and off to the side. I could swear they use to have a “make this map bigger” option, but I certainly don’t see it there now. If they could use the large map, and pop up their Yelp information when I clicked on the locations on the map, that would be ideal.
Well, actually, ideal would be letting me map the directions from my house to my destination, and then search for places to eat (or other business) along the route. I mean, there might be an absolutely stunning place in Niles that I’d never find because I’m only searching in Morton Grove. But perhaps I’m overestimating the quality or quantity of restaurants and food places in the suburbs.