Visualising online ads via Google maps

February 22, 2009

In the UK Harley St is synonymous with private medicine, but is the reputation justified? Hitherto searches for businesses in Google maps yielded 10 results, Google’s new map layer (accessible via google.com not google.co.uk) now displays many more of the listings in a category to be found in a defined area. Display the results of the cosmetic surgery category in Google and you get a clear cluster around Harley St (see below). Similar clusters (in London) are revealed for other business categories: Film production, for example, tends to be located in a quite discrete area of Soho.

harleystThere’s a significant amount of information locked up in online advertisements, and while Google’s listing aren’t a perfect reflection of UK economic activity, they are an increasingly important indicator of it. How much of this data Google will want to open up via API’s etc, is uncertain but there’s potential here for some very interesting work, particularly if you consider sectors of the economy not captured in traditional surveys but which may advertise online.

{ 1 comment }

Dean Whitbread 02.24.09 at 10:08

“moderately pleased with” – I’d be more than moderately pleased with that plankton video. I now know more about bivalves and decapod eating habits than I ever did.

NB: If you enabled comments on that page, I’d have left this comment in the appropriate place.

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