Google adds mapping to local offerings

Google Maps, Google Local combine enhanced local search with maps, driving directions, business listings and satellite images.

Google on Thursday formally launched its local search service with mapping information.

The company said it has merged its Google Maps with Google Local to create a service that allows users to conduct local searches that include maps, driving directions and satellite images.

The service, which will add new local search and mapping functions as the product evolves, also offers business listings such as Yellow Page directories, Google said.

The search market is witnessing intense competition among companies trying to improve their offerings with new features and upgrades designed to make the services more relevant to consumers. Local search is one segment of the market. Yahoo already offers local search with maps and driving directions.

"Users will be able to go to one location to find all the local and mapping information they need," Marissa Mayer, director of consumer Web products at Google, said in a statement. "Whether it's directions to the nearest pharmacy or reviews of nearby dim sum restaurants, we will continue to develop innovative technologies that enrich our users' lives."

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