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Google Maps Pen

Pen tool in Google Maps
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What if there were a pen tool in Google Maps that you could circle an area, then do a search for a certain type of store or road names or services, and your search results would be contained in that circled area? Example: you need to find a Target. You will be driving through the northern part of Smithville, so you go to google maps, circle the area you will be passing through, and search for Target..viola! there are all the Targets in that circled area displayed on your map.
ghettocottage, Mar 04 2008

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       How would the results differ from those presented using current methods? Aside from the circle around them, I see no difference.
tatterdemalion, Mar 04 2008
  

       Well, in Google Earth, at least, a search for a specific name will often find that name on the other side of the country. I've often wanted a "somewhere around here" restriction. That's what this idea seem to be about.
baconbrain, Mar 04 2008
  

       Generally, all you have to do is be specific about the place. That restricts the search to that area, unless there is an identically-named town with that store in the same area as the one you happen to be loking for.
Shadow Phoenix, Mar 04 2008
  

       I think this is a good idea, having run into baconbrain's problem a lot. A recent search for ATMs in midtown Manhattan gave results in New Jersey; trying to reinfe it yielded the Chase headquarters near Wall Street, hardly any better.   

       For most of us, drawing a circle on a map is much more intuitive than any other way of specifying nearness.   

       But even short of that, why does Google return *anything* not in the area already displayed on the map? It can be very hard to relate the found locations to the original site. If it can't find anything, a "widen search area" option could be provided.
DrCurry, Mar 04 2008
  

       The pen tool would not restrict the user into drawing a circle; they would draw a blob around only the areas they want to include. This would be incredibly useful for avoiding locations with traffic problems, bad neighborhoods, and natural boundaries (rivers, mountains). Have a croissant with butter. [+]
ed, Mar 05 2008
  
      
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