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Remember the days when you had to go to the phone book to find a restaurant, or to the newspaper to get a movie listing? How many of you now just turn to the internet for this information? I know I do!

With millions of websites available, people are trying to find the most effective tools to help them geographically focus their search results.

Search engines and industry-specific verticals have been watching this shift in search. Eager to capture the loyalty of searchers, they are working to create easier ways for people to search locally - via their desktops, cell phones, and even their car navigation systems. As a result, information is increasingly available by county, city and ZIP Code. But is that enough?

Neighborhoods Are The Ultimate in “Local” Geography

But those on the cutting edge have taken local search one step closer to home: they’ve added neighborhoods to the mix. Their searchers in the Upper East Side or the East Village can now happily find results covering only their neighborhood, without having to weed through results for the entire city of New York, or try to figure out which ZIP Codes cover which areas.

To see the impact of search by neighborhood vs. search by city in action, we did a search for a pizza place in New York City using CitySquares, a Maponics neighborhood data customer. CitySquares offers search to connect people to local b

Can You Ever Have Too Much Pizza?

A search for the entire city of New York gave us a list of over 1,300 pizza places! When we limited our search to just Manhattan, there were only 500. Not as many, but still way to many to scroll through if you are hungry, short on time, or new to the city. Our search by neighborhood: only 32 for the Upper and just 15 for the East Village. Much more manageable, and all within walking distance.

Few companies have the ability to compile the accurate ZIP Code and Neighborhood data that forms the backbone of local search. Maponics, a leader in mapping data development, offers both nationwide data sets for inclusion in any web-based application. Learn more about our GIS Data solutions or call us at 800-762-5158.