Google Maps has saved the world from long travel times. With comprehensive directions and updated traffic patterns, traversing cities and suburbs alike has never been as easy as it is today. But when it comes to finding the front door of a business, Google drops the ball. Fortunately, one company is looking to make online location resources more accurate than ever.
As a new service from SocialRadar, PlaceKit View aims to make the location of stores, restaurants and other business more obvious and easy to find by displaying the location of the front door. In current online maps, you are provided with markers that often indicate the roof as the only way in. This is the reason for improperly assigned Uber pickups, miscommunicated GrubHub deliveries and falafel restaurants that appear to have never existed. Check out the comparison below or try this demo to see the obvious differences.
The technology behind this breakthrough is being hidden quite effectively. Founder and CEO Michael Chasen says that his company was able to figure out how to use street level imagery and combine it with human interaction to map out areas more effectively. Their proprietary algorithm took it from there, creating a business map that was actually helpful.
While SocialRadar does not offer personal services for their unique mapping software, they are in talks with large enterprises and mobile advertising firms to establish this as the norm for mapping programs. This means that GPS will be more accurate, directions will be more comprehensive and pizza will always be delivered right to your front door.
This shift from consumer app to enterprise tech with PlaceKit was an easy move for SocialRadar. The technology was simply not present in smartphones to facilitate the kind of change they wanted to bring to consumer location services. Drained batteries and precise locations were hard to establish, making consumer app possibilities nearly impossible. Fortunately, marketing to businesses is not only an easy move, it's the smart one.
“Many apps in the future are really going to need these technologies. This is a bigger opportunity than what we were building in the first place,” said Chasen to the Washington Business Journal. “We're focused on changing and building out the team to make it focused on back-end enterprise tech, instead of front-end consumer tech.”
It may seem like SocialRadar is robbing consumers of the chance to actually see where buildings are on an online map. But at a certain point, companies like SocialRadar need to push passed the immediate desire for financial success and build towards a better world. This technology has more implications than location services. It will help facilitate inter-business communication and digital merging of corporate needs. There is truly no end to the uses, and to stall that progress so you can find the closest Domino's Pizza to your apartment is hardly justifiable.