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Google Removes "Search Nearby" Function From Updated Google Maps 255

First time accepted submitter BillCable writes "One of the most useful and intuitive features of Google's Map tool was the "Search nearby" link. After searching for a location, users could click on a marker on the map to pop open a window with the address and other details. This window also contained a link to 'Search nearby' — extremely useful if you want to find a list of restaurants near a hotel, the closest pharmacy, or any other business you might want to patronize. Google recently updated their map tool, and 'Search nearby' is no longer present. The 300 posts to the Google Product Forums complaining about this omission indicates this is a feature Maps users sorely miss. Google's work-around (detailed by Google staff in said thread) are a poor substitute and unreliable. There is no indication Google will add the feature to their new tool. For now users are able to revert to the original Google Maps with the 'Search nearby' feature intact. But there's concern that when Google discontinues support that the feature will be lost. So why would Google remove one of its best features?"
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Google Removes "Search Nearby" Function From Updated Google Maps

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  • Just a guess (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AceCaseOR ( 594637 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:22PM (#45977997) Homepage Journal
    I'm guessing the feature was dropped due to privacy complaints, which just goes to show that you simply can't win.
  • by a4r6 ( 978521 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:38PM (#45978207)
    Product managers. Agile development. *Lean methodology*

    The business world is full of stupid yes-men who constantly jump on the newest trends regardless of merit.

    One of those trends, in product management, is "lean methodology", which as some people implement it, means leaving out any sensible features that haven't been explicitly asked for. This is in the name of giving users what they want. The rigid way which product managers interpret it means they resist implementing sensible, intuitive functionality that hasn't been planned for specifically, and the whole product refinement process becomes less efficient as a result, with the minor benefit that you don't build anything that wasn't needed.
  • by cjellibebi ( 645568 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:18PM (#45978619)

    [...] streamlining the interfaces, Apple-style (motto: "It's either easy or it's impossible").

    This sums up nicely the trend towards dumbed down user-interfaces. They're spending so much time on making these gadgets and services accessible to the masses that the power-users are utterly being left out.

  • It sounds harsh, but (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nightfire-unique ( 253895 ) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @03:27PM (#45978677)

    The entire Google maps leadership team should be fired.

    Google is in the (almost) unique position of having outstanding cartographical data, satellite imagery, realtime traffic information, and access to user searches and email.

    They could have built an incredible mapping platform with hierarchical point and route storage and sharing, GPX import/export, realtime location sharing (ie. latitude), advanced planning, map overlays, user reporting on traffic incidents/roadblocks/radar..

    A year ago, they seemed to be heading in this direction.

    Instead, they've slowly been stripping away the features they had that made it useful.

    I remember looking upon the Google Maps iPhone app 6 months ago in horror. How do I send my own location? How do I see a topographical view? Why do selected locations snap to the nearest road? Why can't I measure distance, or plan a route in advance? Why can't I save a place, and give it a different name? I laughed, smug in the superiority of my Android version. I thought nice play, Google.. way to stick it to iPhone users, and offer them a compelling reason to switch to Android!

    Little known to me at the time, my preferred platform would suffer the same fate. The abomination that was Google Maps on iPhone was ported, and pushed out to Android as well! Now who's laughing, right?

    I am literally dumbfounded. Android's old maps application (6.14) was good. Not perfect, but good. The new version is laughable. No more latitude. No more labs. No more topographical maps. No more realtime transit navigation. No zoom buttons for one-handed use. No dedicated navigation button. No arrows pointing the direction of each search result. Bizarre, distracting user interface with clunky "3D" wipes. Still can't share your current location.

    It doesn't surprise me at all that they're starting to remove features from the new Maps for web.

    I'm almost certain that it's a move to convert the platform from data to advertisement. Less focus on what is actual (corner of 5th and E17th), and what is sponsored (Feel like McDonalds? Here are some locations!). I only hope that competition moves in to eat their lunch, and everyone who was involved in gutting it is offered a package.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle