How to get your information into Google Maps (2): Webcrawler

Today was an important day because of Google’s announcements about My Maps and KML search. I’ll talk about these later on in this series, when I’m writing about user generated sources.

This post is about the business data Google gets by crawling the Internet and the use of addresses on your website.

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How to get your information into Google Maps (1)

Google is adding more and more localized information to Google Maps. They are adding information about local businesses, restaurants, hotels, public transport and even live traffic information (at this moment only available for the US).

What the sources are for the information Google displays on the maps isn’t very clear to a lot of people.

At last week’s Geo Developer day I also discovered not a lot of people know how they can control their own information on the maps by using the Google Local Business center.

In this series of posts I’ll write about the sources Google uses and ways how to add or edit your own information.

First let’s start with an introduction.

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About this blog (3): Decisions

This is the third post in the ‘about this blog’ series: Decisions.

Before starting this blog I had to make a few decisions. Some of them were easy to make, others were not so easy to make.

The first decision was which blogging sofware to use. I already wrote about this one in the first post of this series: About this blog (1): Custom Made

During the development of the blogging software I ran into a rather difficult decision: what kind of URL schema am I going to use? There’s been written a lot about this subject, so I started reading.

One of the most important things about URL design is to keep URLs simple and human readable. If these two are true for your URLs a search engine won’t have problems crawling your blog.

I started looking at other blogs and noticed there are many different ways to design an url. Here are a few (random) examples:

/blog/2007/02/16/Recreational-SVG

/yyyy/mm/dd/Title-without-Spaces

/2007/03/web-20-borrel-een-succes-open-coffee-meet-coming-up/

/yyyy/mm/title-without-spaces

/amigo/customer-service-tips

/tagname/titile-with-spaces

/svn/posts/302-preview-5-highrise-tasks

/id-of-post-plus-title-without-spaces

Because I’m using Ruby on Rails the last example would be the easiest to build. But I like /yyyy/mm/title-without-spaces better.

Does it really matter which one you choose? I don’t think so. All of the above URLs are SEO friendly. Some people argue you should not add dates to your URLs, while others think it’s good for your permalink structure to do so.

I decided to use dates in my weblog URLs although it’s slightly more complex to implement with my Restful weblog controller. I did it because I like the resulting structure of URLs which can be used as an archive: ”/weblog/2007/” gives all posts from 2007, ”/weblog/2007/01/” gives all posts from january 2007, etc. I left the day out of the URL, because I don’t think it’s very useful (I’m not planning on writing tens of posts every day).

Next decision was more easy to decide: Use full or partial text feeds. It was more easy, because I personally like reading blogs which use full text feeds, so I’m using a full text feed.

The final decision was a difficult one: which language to use, english or dutch. This will be the subject of the next post in this series.