Linda Buquet

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Anyone that does Google+ Local full-time knows that often the MapMaker bots run rampant. Sometimes it creates problems that are hard to fix and on some listings it can be like a constant thorn in your side!

Bill Slawski over at SEO by the Sea, is well known for his 'Ninja' Google patent discovery skills. He found a new patent dealing with Google's Streetview Cars I've been wanting to share. Basically OCR for cars. :p

Here's an image from the patent illustrating some of the brick & mortar info that may be collected and used.
google-streetview-ocr.jpg

Short partial quote from the patent explaining this image:

"As shown in FIG. 3, image 360 contains the City Diner sign and the Fashion by Elizabeth sign. Accordingly, server 110 may tag image 360 as being associated with both the City Diner and Fashion by Elizabeth establishments. In addition, server 110 may use the visibility scoring function S(image, establishment) as a way to determine which of the two establishments has a higher visibility in image 360. Specifically, server 110 would compare the visibility scores for S (image 360, City Diner) and S (image 360, Fashion by Elizabeth). However, in many instances, the scoring function will not produce a meaningful result."

OH MAN! How many of you, like I am, are picturing the name on City Diner's G+ Local page getting changed to "LOADED BURRITO" because they have a "Today's Special" sign in the window the day the Streetview Car rolls by??? :p :eek: :mad:

Anyway on a more serious note, here is a link to Bill's post with more info.

Google's Streetviews Cars Learn to Read?

Google was granted a patent last week that gives us a look at how information from street level signs might be collected and indexed by Google, and compared to online information about the same locations to try to ?calibrate? and ?score? any information about the places being listed in Google?s index. Here?s an image from the patent that shows at a glance the kinds of information it might attempt to read:

And here is a link to the full patent. United States Patent: 8280891

I have this futuristic image in my head of Bots & Cars taking over the world. ;)

What do you think?


google-streetview-ocr.jpg
 

Colan Nielsen

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Interesting article. I particularly love some of the comments, including this one:

"If the streetcars start to read, I wonder how long it?ll take for Goog to compare the writing on shop and office fronts to the information provided on G+ Local pages and find yet another way to penalize small businesses? Over optimized shop fronts? Keyword stuffed sign-writing?"

I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case.
 

Linda Buquet

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LOL good catch Colan. Missed that one! Oh dear, where are we heading?
 
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