Saturday, May 30, 2009

Nearby Intersections on GOOG-411

It is amazing how much information can be displayed on even the smallest map, yet we sometimes forget that geographic content is not always available visually.

If you're out and about, you can call GOOG-411 and get local information about businesses. Now we've made it even easier to orient yourself without a map in front of you: call GOOG-411, ask for 'details', and in addition to the address and phone number of the business, we'll also point you to the nearest street intersection or adjacent streets.

You can try it now: call 1-800-466-4411, look up 'Google in New York', ask us for more 'details', and we'll tell you that our Chelsea office is 'near the intersection with West 16th Street'. Unless you're a seasoned New Yorker, this might very well save you from walking up or down a few blocks.

The nearby intersections are available for most businesses in the US and Canada. They are derived automatically by an algorithm written on 20% time by Googlers in New York and London. Tell us other ways you would want to use this new feature -- we hope to expand it to other products soon!

Using GOOG-411

Call 1-800-GOOG-411. (That's 1-800-466-4411). Say where you are and what you're looking for. GOOG-411 will connect you with the business you choose. For the fastest and most simple experience, use the hints below:

At any point in the call:
To go backsay "go back"All phones
To start over
say "start over" or press
All phones

When prompted for your query:
To enter city and state and business name or categorysay the full names
for example, "Joe's Pizzeria Palo Alto California"
All phones
To enter a zip codesay it or enter with keypadAll phones
To spell a business namepress 1 and spell with keypad
for example, TOYS would be 8697
All phones

When given results:
To navigate between resultssay or press the listing numberAll phones
To receive an SMSsay "text message"Mobile phones only
To receive a map linksay "map it"Mobile phones only
To get more detailssay "details"All phones
To get helpsay "help"All phones