Google Places is now allowing users to add location information about places users have visited via Foursquare and other mobile Web services.
Google May 19 made it easier for users to geolocate
information users have generated with their smartphones, including check-ins
Google Places is a Google Maps-based portal that connects
consumers to local businesses. One of its core components is to make it easier
for users to leave reviews and ratings of businesses they visit.
This effort underscores Google's push to socialize its
Web services, but it's also a way to engender more patronage for the local businesses
it is serving on Places.
To further hone the rating/review aspect, Google is both
aggregating users' ratings and reviews created on Google and letting users
integrate places people have frequented or discovered using Foursquare and
other Web services.
Users may rate and review these businesses using the Places
Hotpot recommendation engine. When users visit their Google
profiles, they'll see a link to the left pointing them to an Atom feed
of all the place ratings and reviews they've created on Google.
"The feed address is known only to you, but you are
free to share it however you want," explained
Google software engineer Juan Silveira.
To rate and review locations on Google that users discovered
elsewhere online, users can find the URL of a public GeoRSS/Atom feed that
contains place information they want to integrate on Places.
For example, Foursquare users can find the feed
their Foursquare profile, copy the link and paste it into the Places search
box. Google will show place cards that line up with the places in the public
Interestingly, most tech savvy bloggers like the idea if
not the practice. ReadWriteWeb's
Marshall Kirkpatrick, a huge fan of data portability, was
excited about this.
However, Mike Blumenthal
MG Siegler dislike the RSS association. Most bloggers believe RSS is a dying (even dead, already)
technology they want to see buried completely by Twitter and other true
real-time services and feeds.
The broader point is that Google is continuing to draw its social,
mobile and local wagon in a tighter circle, arming itself for battle
versus Facebook, Groupon, Foursquare and others for local search and