Google Maps is one of the search giant's earliest major projects and since its launch has evolved and grown to add a huge number of features and functionality. For most places, be it cities, businesses and many other locations, Maps has a lot of information but, until now, it was only accessible through the info bubbles making it hard to discern sometimes. Now Google took that information along with data from other sources and has created Place Pages, which hosts a dedicated page for almost any “place” in the world.
“A Place Page is a webpage for every place in the world, organizing all the relevant information about it. By every place, we really mean *every* place — there are Place Pages for businesses, points of interest, transit stations, neighborhoods, landmarks and cities all over the world,” Lior Ron, senior product manager, Place Page team, wrote
. “You can get to a Place Page by clicking on "more info" in search results, or by clicking "more info" in the mini-bubble. Now, instead of just getting a slightly bigger bubble, you'll get an entire page of rich details, like photos, videos, a Street View preview, nearby transit, reviews and related websites.”
There is a lot of information available but Google still has a long way to go until it has “every” place in the world. Still, it's a very interesting product and one that actually didn't take that much effort from Google as it pulls most of its information and data from services already available like Panoramio and Street View for photos, YouTube for video etc. Of course, third-party services like Wikipedia are also added, depending on the location type.
What's also interesting is that all the places have their own page with a dedicated URL making them easy to index and hopefully to share. What this means is that the product could become a big competitor to all location services like Yelp and in some areas it may already be better. And, while there are already a sizeable number of places available, users can also add their own information with tools like Google Map Maker. Businesses can also create their own pages through the Local Business Center tool.