Business establishments have a new way of promoting their sites to technology-savvy users through Google Maps, a web application developed by search firm Google.
Developed as a partner application with Google Earth, Google Maps enables users to view road maps, landmarks and establishments in various areas around the world.
Recently, Google has unveiled a "Businesses" layer to the application to aid users in browsing nearby establishments and enabling business to input relevant data--such as name, address, business hours and contact numbers--about their establishments through Google's Local Business Center.
While these services are currently limited to only a few countries, businesses in the Philippines can instead use Google's Map Maker application which enables end-users to edit location and other relevant information on available maps.
Since Map Maker's launch in October 2009, tens of thousands of edits have already been made on Philippine maps, enhancing the available information on the country's geography. The Philippines currently ranks second in countries with the most edits on the application.
"We have seen an increase in Map Maker edits for the areas outside of the main cities which indicates the interest among Filipinos across the country to map out their local communities and contribute to this national effort," said Derek Callow, marketing head, Google Southeast Asia.
Dwayne Dell Manuel, a 23-year old student who recently graduated from the National University of Singapore, is one of the top Map Maker contributors in the country. Manuel, along with three other contributors, was sent to the Google Map Maker User Conference in Bangalore, India, where they met with other contributors and developers.
"It was nice to know from the product development team that they are intensely interested in receiving user feedback and exchanging ideas to make Google Map Maker more useful and relevant for local users," said Manuel. To date, Manuel has added around 7,000 edits to the application.
Users simply need a Google account to begin editing details on available maps and satellite images. Moderation by other users and trusted Google moderators keep data accurate and credible. Google Maps can also be downloaded to the iPhone and several other mobile platforms.