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Monday, 10th September 2007

Ask City Makes Embedding Maps Just A Click Away; Enhanced Driving/Walking Directions Also Online

Like we do with all major posts about new services and news at Ask.com, please click to read below to read the post. We do this because some of you don't want to read a post from Gary who is Director of Online Services at Ask.com.

Ask City* the local search product from Ask.com that includes not only business listings but movie info, maps, ticket info, and more is now offering the chance to embed these maps (that you can mark-up) on any web/blog page in a few easy steps.

Plus, as we've pointed out before Ask City allows the user to select any area on a map and search "within" that area for types of businesses, events, etc.

Embedding Ask City Maps on a web page, blog, HTML notebook, etc. is simple and fast.

Just click the "embed" link found in the top right corner of any Ask City map. Here's an example. Click embed (top right), then copy the code, and paste.

Remember, Ask City offers a cool feature that has many uses. It allows you to "search inside" or around an area that you select. We first posted about it in April. It's something that might be of extra special interest to business researchers and librarians since it can give a very basic view of what's located in a specific area at no charge. In other words, it might help give an overview before more focused databases are brought in.

Here's a quick example:

1) Select an area. We will start with large with a major metro area, Seattle. However, any size area will work fine.

2) Now, use the drawing/mark-up tools located at the bottom of the map box. Note the straight line, square, circle, etc.

Select a specific area and add the shape to an area of the map.

In one example, we are going to find "coffee" (this is Seattle) and in another, "food" in a certain radius (circle) or along or nearby to a specific street (straight line).

3) Once the circle and line are drawn look for the magnifying glass connected to the shape. Click. Now run your search for the type of business, event, etc.

4) Next, simply click the embed link (the "embed" link is found in the top right corner of an Ask City map) and away you go. The code to embed the map (in three sizes) is presented in a window, just copy and paste.

Here are two examples of embedded Seattle maps on a web page. To get all of the info (names of restaurants, stores, etc.), simply click on the map. Ask City will automatically open in a window with results.

Also, new from Ask City is the ability to create driving and walking directions by way of location(s) you specify.

Here a quick review of how this feature works.

1) Enter in several locations and get the route both driving and walking. Here's an example.

2) Note at the bottom of each step in the directions a hyperlink to "Adjust Route."

3) Click it.

4) "To adjust your route, click a location on the map you would like to pass through."

5) Right click, zoom in or out as needed. Then, select the "pass through location" by placing
the orange icon on or next to the location.

6) Your driving and walking directions will be adjusted. Here's what a map might look like.

Look for more about these new features tomorrow on the Ask.com Blog.

See Also: Google recently announced that you can also embed Google Maps on web pages.

See Also: Embed Yahoo Maps (developer only)

See Also: MS Live Maps doesn't offer an embed feature at the present time. However, accessing a permalink and sending the map is just a click away.

** Note: Gary is Director of Online Information Resources at Ask.com


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