As posted on CIO India —”Microsoft Corp. plans to up the ante in local search by adding 3D models of 15 U.S. cities to the maps of its Live Local service. The 3D models will allow users to zoom into these metro areas and "fly" over and into them using their Web browser, a Microsoft official said. Microsoft expects to offer 3D models of over 100 cities by next year's third quarter, said Bobby Figueroa, director of product management for Live Local Search.”
Microsoft, Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and other search engine providers have been busy improving their local search services because they have become very popular with users and advertisers alike. Unlike searches conducted on a general Web search engine, which can stem from a variety of intents, those performed on local search sites tend to be motivated by a desire to shop, which is very attractive for advertisers.
Meanwhile, users have found that these local search engines act like phone directories on steroids, providing not only basic information like phones and addresses, but also customer reviews, driving directions and maps.Microsoft will integrate ads into these 3D models in a way it considers organic, by displaying them on virtual billboards the users will encounter as they zip around the cities, Figueroa said.
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