Tag Archives: google maps

Australian Flood Maps

Australia has had one of the worst flooding events in it's history but the use of social media has allowed people to stay connected with friends and family even without power via their mobiles.  The great sign is that by using that same platform volunteers have started mobilising for the clean-up process using Facebook pages, Facebook groups, Messages and Status updates also by tracking Twitter hashtags #qldfloods #thebigwet.  Both the response to mobilise volunteers and share images of the impact of the disaster would have not been possible without social media platforms and it's great to see that the community has rose to respond to the disaster quickly.Queensland Government Traffic InformationThe only official place to get regular updates is from 13 19 40 which will likely be fairly congested so you can visit their website 131940.qld.gov.au.  Their flood maps are updated at 9am and 2pm each day covering the following regional areas in Queensland central west, darling downs, far north, fitzroy, mackay, north coast, north west, northern region, south coast, south west, wide bay region.New South Wales Government Traffic InformationYou can visit here to get live updates and travller information for NSW roads, including traffic flow, live traffic cameras and areas affected by Floods or Fire. You can get immediate information by phoning NSW RTA on 132 701.Victorian Government Traffic InformationYou can get updates on latest travel and road conditions from VicRoads, and you can get flood traffic alerts from the VicRoads mobile website or call VicRoads traffic management center on 13 11 70, anytime of the day.Google.org ResponseGoogle.org has started promoting via the Google AdWords platform a Crisis Response to the Australian Floods disaster, starting to muscle the massive resources of Google to provide a central place for Twitter Updates, Latest Flood News, and using it's mapping platform a Flood map. It has also been recognised that Google was fairly quick to start offering the below information at the top of any flood related search query which helped provide the necessary emergency information for many people.


Flood Emergency Information

Flood Emergency Information

High Resolution Maps of Flooded AreasIt's interesting that Near Maps were able to get live updated aerial photos of the flooded areas on the 13th January 2011 and around 5 times higher resolution than Google Maps so quickly. You can see below when you zoom in the extra detail possible that can help volunteers work out where the might be most needed.  While the photos below don't show the full height of the flood waters it does allow for businesses and even insurers to remotely survey the damage to areas that are still underwater or not accessible due to other hazards.
Google Maps vs NearMap

Google Maps vs NearMap

It would be great if Google Maps would be able to update their map tiles to show the impact of the disaster and increased the resolution of their photos as you can see how much better Near Map is, but that might just take a bit more time. There are also updates from Near Map twitter account that more maps showing more areas of Brisbane are soon going to be live with 2cm resolution of the flooded areas.Bing MapsSoul Solutions have also released a website that requires Silverlight plugin but allows you to overlay Brisbane City Council Flood predictions for Tuesday night, road closures as of 9am 12th January, along with river levels and NASA imagery of the flooded areas over Bing Maps.  It is very interesting because you can also overlay the historical floods of 1893 and 1974 to see how the flooded areas were almost identical in much of the Brisbane area. The issue is that the road closure data is only really useful at a zoom level of 100kms so does not cover minor roads and only focuses outsideAreas Affected by Flood Related Road ClosuresTo understand how much of Australian infrastructure has been affected by the recent floods each of the purple spots below is a road closure due to flood waters, which will also continue to spread south into New South Wales as the weather pattern moves out of Queensland and towards Victoria.
Flood Related Road Closures

Flood Related Road Closures

Impacted by Rising River LevelsThe impact of the scale of the flooding disaster is also shown in the impact on river levels shown below with the impact of flooding shown in the coloured legend.  While much of the impact has been on the east coast of Australia it may not include every possible stream/creek that experienced flooding due to the weather pattern.
Australian River Levels

Australian River Levels impacted by Flood

Australian Rainfall MapIn a effort to provide more accurate information the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology has offered an improved map shown below of the past 24 hours rainfall.
24 Hour Rainfalls 15/1/11

24 Hour Rainfalls 15/1/11

Courier Mail Warned Us!You can see the scale of the impending disaster as  predicted Flood Map for the whole of Brisbane that was expected to be inundated by the Tidal Surge but the potential disaster was actually highlighted back in a story they published 30th October 2009 that around 28,651 properties could be affected by such an event that happened this week in the "overland flow flood maps".Rezoning of Property NeededThere will have to be some reconsideration of zoning in the flood areas as a number of homes,businesses and structures will have to be demolished due to the damage from the flood waters and floating debris and there will be discussions needed on if all of these should be rebuilt or turned into parkland incase the event happens again.Global Economic ImpactAt the peak of the disaster upto 113,000 houses were without power but could have been far worse if the flood height exceeded the 1974 flood but it's predicted the flood will cut 1% of Australia's GDP growth and will impact the world's economy as the state of QLD produces half of the world's coking coal used in the production of steel.  It is already likely the the spot prices of Coking coal will increase past the initial 9.4% as the true impact of the disaster is realised.Show Support for those affectedYou can join community Facebook pages like News Limited's QLD Floods page, signup to be an emergency volunteer, or donate to the QLD Premier's Flood Relief Appeal directly. One of the true leaders during the disaster was the Queensland Police Service who have the best source of information, contact details and information on the recovery and clean-up effort. Please always check the legitimacy of charities when donating to help flood victims in central and south east Queensland by visiting the Scam Watch website.

Google Maps understands search intention

Following on from a previous post where it seemed that Google was starting to make a decision about what pages to index with a preference for lowercase results, but it seems that they have also been working to implement lettercase sensitivity on their Google Maps results.  The interesting secondary aspect is that it appears early in the process that some businesses get a significant commercial advantage with the new quick refinement links that are showing for certain queries.
Lettercase can influence Google Maps results
Google is also appearing to try and adjust its Maps results for geographic queries which was picked up in a random search last month but still appears to be in place, but ive struggled to understand the linguistic significance of the recent change to adjust to suit lettercase. I would assume that using uppercase for the item is the user preference but it is not unreasonable to see how with the data insight Google has that it can now calculate if the user is likely to want to refine their query.
Types of Lettercases
According to Wikipedia "Lettercase" some sentences cases are not used in standard English grammar but are common in product branding and computer programming.  The different types of common case used are:
CamelCase "iPod, eBay"
Start case "The End Of The World"
Snake case "Do_not_copy"
Studly caps "NeWS"
Google no longer case folding
Usually search queries use case folding, as it is then possible for the algorithm to make case-insensitive comparisons against its index for the relevant result.  But recently it seems at least for local results there has been a shift away from case folding and the results are adjusted to match the letter case. It is now possible if you make a choice to use all lowercase or just capitalise the "object" you are searching for you are being offered the ability to refine your search query to get a better and more relevant match. It might be that by placing importance on "Hotels" by capitalising it, Google can understand your intention might be slightly different based on urgency but why just the "object" and not the whole word or the location?

new york hotels local seo

The second result shows how case is now changing if you set the keyphrase "new york hotels" to use all lower case.  The new Google Maps local results now shows an additional 2 rows of links you can use to refine your search query to better match your search for a New York Hotel. These can be seen just below the map and above the first result, meaning its now harder for local seo campaigns as more Google properties take up the first part of the search results. The addition of more elements to the SERPs pushes more results further down, below the fold and decreases the chances that those outside the top 3 will actually get clicked.
new york hotels local seo
New links refine results
The new links are adjusted to match the city/location and are adjusted slightly for hotels nearby geographic landmarks such as Central Park, Times Square, Midtown or New York Plaza, and based on the types of hotels commonly available in that city such as Luxury, 5 star, 4 star, family or 3 star. For other geographic locations such as Las Vegas it offers Casino, Wedding and Luxury, 5 star and 4 star properties as a filter, but the hotel nearby landmarks produce the interesting results. Also the preference for singular or plural doesn't seem to affect how this additional search links are included which makes it more complicated when trying to figure out the users intentions to need more refined results.
Las Vegas Hotel SEO
Google loves MGM?
While it is not clear how these are populated at this stage the MGM casino group seems to gain the most extra promotion by the use of its properties as a filter allows them to show at the top of the results for any refinement. A click on the link for hotels near Luxor refines the users query and the results is an overly friendly result for the Hotel Luxor as shown in the screenshot below.  For any competitors not shown in these new local search refinement links it is likely they will experience a massive disadvantage for their Hotel seo campaigns. The expected hotel near links I would expect to see would be mcann airport, the strip, downtown which do not provide a branding benefit to a particular hotel group or landmark property.
Luxor wins at seo
The first 2 paid results are for the Luxor, as well as the first 2 organic results are for Luxor.com with a very powerful 8 internal site links showing meaning that the Luxor controls the local Google results for the top half of the page.  The also have the top Google Map result meaning more control of the SERPs and more clicks direct to Luxor.com  The influence that these new search refinements will cause competitors is a massive drop in geographic queries and depending on the users search phrase a lot less search traffic from Google and also may affect Luxor affiliate sites and booking sites such as Expedia, Travelocity or Priceline because more traffic will go direct to the hotels website.
I'm not saying they should not be able to rank very well for local hotel results or they should not be entitled to dominate searches for their brand/hotel but the use of the refinement links does place a significant commercial advantage towards the MGM group at this stage. It is not clear how these are generated or weighted but this does seem likely to cause complications for search agencies working for MGM competitors as they now have a significant disadvantage.
The second interesting part is that these new refinement links are part of the overall Mayday update to the Google interface that has shown an overall decrease in search queries to websites, mostly attributed to less longtail traffic and users are able to better refine their search query meaning less clicks but more search volume and more AdWords displayed. It maybe possible that these links may turn into Google properties similar to Google Maps Real Estate or tie into the recent Hotel listings that Google has been offering on its Maps results.
Author Note: Thank you to Alan Bleiweiss who helped me try and understand how or why Google was doing this.

Google Maps adds place markers

Just a few weeks ago Google announced it was sunsetting its Google Local Business center and replacing it with the more consumer friendly Google Places, but it also appears to be rolling out a number of updates to its Streetview interface that rely on the previous patent that allowed for virtual placement of markers. This also seems to be a response to Everyscape who offer a similar virtual placement combined with Google Maps free service to businesses to have upto date photos of their store and interior.The initial results seem to be focused around the free Google Places listings but its possible that some of these might be tied to Google AdWords as it expands. The listings make use a Google generated clickable icons that that enable the viewer to quickly get the businesses contact details, but it is not yet defined in Google Places business listings what portion of your impressions or clicks related to Streetview so it is too early to judge the direct benefit of this feature.Google Maps local AdsGoogle Maps Ads "School of the Future"The two examples do show how the markers can be useful when looking for a business location and not having to scan sideways to see the name of the business and you don't have to go back to the Google Maps view to confirm thats the right business address you found.  The only issue that can be flagged is now the importance of correct business details and Google Maps updating its map index more than once every 3-4 weeks as it can actually affect the user experience if the data is outdated and never corrected.   The next example shows how big business and franchise can benefit with store locations no longer hidden by parked cars or passing trucks such as the USPS truck covering the Barnes & Nobel storefront.Google Maps ListingA side benefit for consumers, tourists and visitors is that the transport options such as Subway lines were previously hidden can now be accurately displayed in relation to the business location.  The feedback point is that as shown below there is no ability currently to apply more layers as you can with Google Maps or Google Earth such as transit layers in Google StreetView so the numbers of listings added maybe limited.Show Google Map LayersThe new Google streetview place markers don't seem to be tied to any particular set of criteria as they show for the following types of listings:
  • Public transport
  • Big business (Best Buy/Barns & Nobel)
  • Owner verified businesses
  • Not yet verified by owner businesses
To show that this is not yet a feature that business may have any control over, it appears that  a number of the results that we found were for business listings that were still unverified by the business owner, so likely less susceptible to spam.  The first result for Restoration Hardware shows that the business has not yet been claimed by the business owner, as with the second result School of the Future High School so are likely sourced direct from Yellowpages listings. But other results such as Gramercy Park Hotel did have a Streetview placemarker but had an owner verified listing so its not just for unverified business locations or big business such as BestBuy or Barnes & Nobel who can get a virtual marker. This types of points we noted in our article around how SEO for Hotels is getting harder with some of the new features that Google is rolling out in the form of paid placement and preferred Google properties showing in the search results.School of the Future High SchoolTo see if this was a relevance listing such only those who were listed as the #1 in Google Maps local listings or those who showed up #1 in organic or paid results, we have included the local listing result for a geographic query for each in the screenshots shown below. It would be local from an search optimisation perspective to reward those who are able to rank highly for local or generic queries but this would encourage local seo to likely take advantage of the Google Streetview listings for their clients.Google Maps Listing Restoration HardwareGoogle Maps Listing School of the FutureSo while the first result showed that Restoration Hardware was #1 in the search results, School of the Future was #7 in the second results but in a test conducted today was no longer a featured in the local business results.  So this could indicate that the StreetView may not even be based on an algorithm yet and might just be using Google Map data.

So this seems to be a very strange test that doesn't seem to depend on any measurable or known selection criteria which makes it harder for agencies and marketers to assist their clients with achieving a virtual page marker in Google Streetview outside having a placemarker on Google Maps as shown above. Have you found any issues getting listed or traffic benefits for your clients with these Streetview placemarkers?

Google Local Hotel SEO gets harder

Raven Internet Marketing Tools

Google Maps continues to roll out new features relating to the real estate and travel sector, but the latest update doesn't appear to be mentioned on any Google product blog and cannot find out anything more from anywhere. We can assume this stage that this is a new Google Maps feature that has now been enabled on both Google.com.au and Google.com search results for local Hotels and shows just below the 10 pack. The interesting feature is that the type of hotels is customised to match the types of hotels popular for that particular city but it does not seem to be available for all locations at this stage and can be seen at the bottom of each image.

The secondary point around these quick links is that they launch a refined query which means that a majority of browsing that a user might have done through the top 10, may not be skipped as they go straight back to fresh results based on the extra point of data.  The user experience does seem a little better and the ability to quickly filter results is going to appeal to users but is likely going to wreck the business models of any hotel not showing in the 10 box or atleast the top 4 results.

So the ramifications for your hotel seo campaign is that top 10 results may likely not be good enough as an increased amount of verticals such as Restaurants but it will likely expand to cover other verticals as Google finds by supplying keywords they can increase search refinements and get users picking the top results it offers, no matter if sponsored or organic. I have taken a number of screenshots and included a brief analysis about the auto generated short links and if they are even relevant.

Local Google Maps business results for Brisbane Hotels

New Google Maps geographic specific additional links to filter results for Brisbane Hotels, seems to be partially matched to key locations, but leaves out SouthBank and also fails to list Riverviews as a key selection criteria which is a selling point of many hotels.

5 star - Casino - Boutique - Luxury - 3 star Hotel near: Emporium - CBD - Queen St - Ann St - N Quay

Local Google Maps business results for Chicago Hotels

New Google Maps geographic specific additional links to filter results for Chicago Hotels, seems fairly standard and once again it leaves out a key feature of the Chicago to filter hotels by Lake views and not all searches may know that O'Hare is actually the airport name so may miss its intended audience for those who may have a flight into Chicago.

Boutique - Luxury - Suites - 5 star - 4 star Hotel near: Michigan Ave - Magnificent Mile - Ohare - Essex - Lincoln Park

Local Google Maps business results for Las Vegas Hotels

New Google Maps geographic specific additional links to filter results for Las Vegas Hotels, seems a little tailored to the location but could have made use of a Family, Non-smoking or Non-gambling filter, and the hotels near seem more of a paid placement for MGM Mirage as the Hotel locations feature mainly their Hotel properties but not the Strip as a filter.  While a number of the locations maybe considered Las Vegas landmarks the exposure to their brands is a little generous and there is no disclosure if they are in fact paid Hotel links.

5 star - Casino - Luxury - Weddings - 4 star Hotel near: MGM - Luxor - Bellagio - Circus Circus - Downtown

Local Google Maps business results for Los Angeles Hotels

New Google Maps geographic specific additional links to filter results for Los Angeles Hotels is a little hit and miss as it also fails to feature one of the key aspects of LA being the Beachfront as a location to filter results. It also fails to allow filters by airport hotels or even popular tourism attractions such as Los Angeles theme parks like Universal Studios or DisneyLand which seems to miss an entire segment of the market who maybe looking to stay in Los Angeles.

Local Google Maps business results for London Hotels

New Google Maps geographic specific additional links to filter results for London Hotels is a little better but the locations featured seem to be mainly focused around transport and central locations, once again leaving out some of the key landmarks that tourists might want to book a hotel near.  It also fails to list budget one of the key segments of the London hotel sector in the filter.

Local Google Maps business results for New York Hotels

New Google Maps geographic specific additional links to filter results for New York Hotels, seem to some of the better matched but still miss Wall Street as a location people may wish to stay near.

Local Google Maps business results for Sydney Hotels

New Google Maps geographic specific additional links to filter results for Sydney Hotels, also seem to pick transport hubs rather than popular tourist locations such as: The Opera House, The Rocks, Darling Harbour, Potts Point, Bondi Beach...

Local Google Maps business results for Washington DC Hotels

New Google Maps geographic specific additional links don't appear for the results Washington DC Hotels which makes it appear to be an early beta test and still not year fully rolled out across all Local Maps results.

Analysis: The new filters seem to be a smart way to display more information about hotels available and the direct navigation to refine the query with a single click will likely appeal to those searching for hotels, but the filters need to be vastly improved to better match the locations they show for.  It also makes it that bit harder to those doing hotel seo campaigns as there is now 2 more lines of results that push the organic results down the page and may encourage users to refine their query faster lowering the value of head terms such as "Los Angeles Hotels"

Everyscape sells a virtual world

MediaPost covered Everyscape's recent $6 million fund raising news last month, but I was more interested to find out how their service differs from Google Maps StreetView, since Everyscape also uses Google Maps. My initial review of the site seems to be how Google Streetview will likely progress in its next release giving business more power over their listings but also gives the ability for premium listings for those who want more attention. So has EveryScape really built a new platform that has potential to grow or joined the list of companies that help show Google engineers what they should be doing for their next product?So the typically businesses that Everyscape advise are best for their virtual tour solution because of their more detailed view and tours are:
  • Retail Stores
  • Hotels
  • Bars
  • Spa
  • Restaurants
  • Galleries
The Everyscape examples seem niche enough for the product to attract interest as they typically seem to target and they do have the ability through an API to use the content within your own site, but how does it compare against Google Maps Streetview? The smart part about their product is how aggressively they market to business owners if they have not claimed or setup a EveryScape listing for this business as this Starbucks examples shows below, which may allow them to build business listings quicker.The three screenshots below show how a  listing works, the viewer can see a place marker on the Streetview mode where they can quickly and easily view the business details but then are offered the opportunity to peer inside the venue.  The first view is of the front door or venue entrance which can be useful if you are trying to recall if this is the place you were thinking of or need a image to recall when you are trying to find it.  The ability to peer inside a venue can be useful when looking for a particular mood or theme for a meal or event and often this information is not always available even on larger travel sites.

The images used are often much higher quality than Google Maps Streetview and also likely much more up to date as the business has control over when they are taken and can ensure their property is presented accurately and not obscured by parked vans or construction vehicles as Streetview has captured in the past.  I think the service is very suited to niche markets and if more travel and business websites start using their information through their API it has the potential to be a great product but likely needs a lot more support from existing local business websites such as TrueLocal, Aussieweb or Yelp.Affiliate/Employment Program In what seems to be more like a pyramid scheme where you can become a ambassador or a reseller where you are responsible for a specific territory but are required to attend Everyscape training and certification program. The two types of ambassadors are destination and local business one captures all the public content similar to the Google Streetview cars and the other seeks to capture the interior images. They offer the ability for you to control geographic regions where you are responsible for selling the listing solution to local business and sell the product in as an new revenue stream. The biggest problem I can see is the cost to keep the destination ambassadors on the road as the Google Maps vehicles costs millions to maintain each year so if you have to use your own car and laptop will you recover your expenses?The issue that EveryScape face is the chicken and the egg problem, which comes first the business wanted to be listed or people using the service wanting to find that business? The problem is building up the coverage and business listings quick enough so the product has scale and attracts users to the service. It does appear to be positive   so far as Everyscape's visitor numbers appear to be growing, but its too early to know if this will continue at this rate.

Google Real Estate gets Social

Google Map's has showed the power of Facebook ads as its new real estate product has moved aggressively into expanding its market share by utilising Facebook Advertising to reach its target market in Australia.I noticed tonight a new campaign was reaching out to my demographics to try and encourage us to try Google Maps to find a new home. The ad message and graphic is not exactly groundbreaking or likely to lead to an exodus but may lead consumers to change how they search for realestate from social media.Judging by the Facebook campaign messages and the landing page it seems that it is very early in the process and will likely start a new advertising war with existing real estate players who have typically avoided social media ads until now.Even the interface for Google Maps does not come close to existing leading realestate sites, but does seem to allow a offer channel for those using social media to consider a new option. The basic Google Maps realestate interface is shown below.The next steps would be to see how other Realestate groups meet this direct challenge for eyeballs as typically Facebook advertising offers much lower CPC. So while many in the industry will hope that this as just a test this one-off test but based on Google's previous behaviour it is likely that Google will gather some more data and aggressively expand its social media marketing.

Related Images:

Google Patents the Future of Advertising

Mediapost has once again take the time to draw together several key updates to Google's January patents and what it means for future "targeting" of ads makes for a very interesting opportunity for online marketing and how well it can target you.The Google engineers appear to have had a very productive Christmas with several updates to their patents filed in January but there are several patents that appear to be of interest for further expanding and improving their advertising products: So lets review the new patents and which products would they offer the most likely fit and benefit to and even how they could further expand the product to be a category killer.1) The main point around this patent is that it is also using geographic targeting which can further refine and measure response rates to ads and assist with profiling.  The issue about this patent which is of concern is the abstract which reads "the advertisement based upon profiling of users and networks" and it shows the true potential of the product to be a category killer.  The reason is that better delivered ads gain higher click-thru-rates, better conversion rates for advertisers and offer a better user experience for searchers, but this can depend on the intentions of advertisers when using such powerful targeting.Google advises that one of the purpose of the patent is to reduce the effects of banner blindness where users begin to ignore ads, and also reduce duplication but still reach the largest possible target audience.  It will also assist by changing ads displayed if users continue to ignore them, to something more relevant to their search or websites they have previously visited.2) This patent appears to be around optimising the value of popular ad spots and placements but also seeks to reduce the unsold stock currently available for markers by more efficient allocation and bidding, it is focused on improving Google's content distribution networks.  The other element is that you are no longer just bidding and if you get the right price you get a place, you can now have a live auction environment that can dramatically inflate prices paid for advertising placement by advertisers.  The product seems suitable for Adsense which Google is aggressively promoting as it expands its content and affiliate networks, but this product can also relate to Radio & Television ads...3) It appears at this stage that this is just an improved version of the current YouTube popup banners that are shown over each video, as it takes into account keyword and search behaviour when selecting what video to display.  What makes me think that this patent brings YouTube closer to competing with Hulu is part of sentence from patent claim 3 "video playback controls for simultaneously controlling playback of both the digital video and the video overlay advertisement". It appears that this function could be similar to Hulu users do not have the ability to skip the video advertisement and the ad and video continue to be played but cannot be skipped.4) This patent is one of the more interesting patents as it allows Google to get around mobilephone carriers who may charge or restrict access to users locations with a solution that calculates users geographic location by "observation/analysis of packets transmitted or received by the access point".  This can also already be done with Skyhook Wireless by using the MAC addresses of nearby wireless access points and proprietary algorithms. This is very suitable for Google Maps, StreetView and the ability for Google to serve ads from business relevant to your current geographic location.5) This patent seems mostly suited to Google Maps but primary for mobile devices who don't always have access to the internet, and also appear to allow for overlaid items to be also shown when offline.  Being how devices such as the Verizon Droid or Google Nexus One can be heavy data users the offline storage or caching of map tiles has an advantage.6)This product is perfect for Google Goggles and Google Maps StreetView, as it appears to have the ability to offer a augmented environment that can display property information, and add additional layers which may include one or more promotional features "ads" within the users view.  The overlaid information may contain a useful details such local landmarks like Circular Quay along with next Ferry times to Manly as it knows your Google calendar has your next meeting at Manly.  Where the product's potential gets interesting is that the weather forecast maybe sponsored by Allianz Insurance or local businesses that match your preferences may be able to show sponsored notifications.

There are already companies working out how they can use augmented reality and clicking on the above image will take you to 35 excellent examples of awesome real-life examples of how companies are testing and encouraging virtual worlds.

The patent also appears to allow for the identification of features such as billboards or banners and replacing them with updated or new advertisements.  But this presents the problem TV broadcasters have battled for years when overlaying stadium sponsors with their broadcast partners, who is entitled to be shown? Imagine if you can now buy dynamic billboards in StreetView or that old bus shelter with the last years ad can be updated to show your new campaign.  There is also potential for guerrilla marketing where your competitors may buy sponsored placement outside your store or building.Not to be left out it seems that even Yahoo's Flickr is joining the augmented reality with a new patent that offers the ability to combine maps, photographs and notes with your captured photographs.So how many of these patents will be fully utilised or is it a race to see who can invent the most patents to protect any possible future developments by competitors?
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