MSN Debuts Local Search Beta
When consumers search for local information, they will get results from city- and region-specific white pages and yellow pages directory information. For example, a local search on "auto mechanics" could bring up listings of nearby mechanics, repair shops and towing companies.
Each local search result is shown as a numbered pin on a corresponding map provided through Microsoft's MapPoint service, and digital aerial images are supplied by TerraServer-USA when available for a given search result.
Microsoft's offering gets it on par in the search wars: Google launched local search in March 2004 and combined it with maps earlier this year. Yahoo and Ask Jeeves both have offered local search since last summer.