Wellington, New Zealand, December 12, 2007: Google has operated a basic New Zealand maps site for some time but has now added more features, including business listings and driving directions. The maps.google.co.nz site also now supports Google Maps for mobile phones at www.google.co.nz/gmm.
Searching for a type of business such as a restaurant brings up reviews from other website. People can also add their own. The service lets people create personalised maps to share with friends too. Basic business listings are free but New Zealand companies can also buy adverts on specific map searches, such as restaurants in Wellington. These are displayed as “sponsored links”, shaded blue, above and below the natural search results.
Google isn’t breaking much new ground with the service in New Zealand. Microsoft’s Live Maps service offers driving New Zealand driving directions, while Zoomin and Wises let you search for businesses in an area. Zoomin allows users to tag places with their own photos and post reviews of businesses.
Carl Sjogreen, group product manager for Google Australia and New Zealand, said Google Maps stands apart from the competition because it lets people find the information they want faster and easier. We hear from users all the time that Google Maps is the easiest one to use.
Google Maps is also letting New Zealand users, along with US and Australian users test a feature where anyone can move a marker to a place’s true location if it’s slightly wrong.