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Google Removes "Search Nearby" Function From Updated Google Maps

timothy posted about 3 months ago | from the where-are-you-again? dept.

Google 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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255 comments

Simple (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45977993)

Because they jumped the shark. Laugh all you want, yahoo is less annoying.

Re:Simple (5, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 3 months ago | (#45978051)

Yahoo is dead as fried chicken.

I don't know why Google would remove this feature, but you can be sure it probably has something to do with their strategy to shove everyone over to Google+ at gunpoint

Animal Farmily (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 3 months ago | (#45978577)

Yahoo is dead as fried chicken.

I don't know why Google would remove this feature, but you can be sure it probably has something to do with their strategy to shove everyone over to Google+ at gunpoint

They want us coopped up in Google's farm for maximum "conversion rate", whatever that means.
Chrome rats out every URL, but it's to "protect" us from malware.
We got Androids helping track us and carriers' boot lockers keeping us from rooting around.

They make Ice Cream Sandwiches, KitKats, hell, even Search & Maps out of this stuff. What's in Sooglent Green anyway?
Is it just me or are those pigs Eric and Sergey starting to look a little too yahuman to moo?

Re:Simple (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978367)

Use FourSquare.

Re:Simple (5, Funny)

mrchaotica (681592) | about 3 months ago | (#45978439)

You misspelled OpenStreetMap.

Re:Simple (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978613)

You mean OpenStreetMap.org where when I type in "Pizza" is doesn't show me any pizza places near me, but does list places in Japan or Nigeria?
From my experience Openstreetmap is less useful or at least less user friendly right out of the gate. It just isn't ready for prime time yet. there may be another site that uses that data and has a decent search function, but i'm not going to go looking for it. There are some topics in the forum as for searching for things near by. that lead to another site with a list of sites that you then go look at and see if they work for you.
Sorry, but that is a waste of my time. There may be good data with OpenStreetMap but so far using it is a pain in the rear.
On google maps at least i can type in "pizza" and it will show me pizza places near where I'm looking and even provide contact info and possibly reviews. No fiddling around or site hoping.

Just a guess (4, Interesting)

AceCaseOR (594637) | about 3 months ago | (#45977997)

I'm guessing the feature was dropped due to privacy complaints, which just goes to show that you simply can't win.

Re:Just a guess (5, Funny)

krups gusto (2203848) | about 3 months ago | (#45978067)

I'm not sure the local pizza joint is worried that I'll be able to see where they are.

Re:Just a guess (1)

AceCaseOR (594637) | about 3 months ago | (#45978213)

I'm not sure the local pizza joint is worried that I'll be able to see where they are.

End users might have complained (in a "Big Broth-er-Google Maps is watching my every move!") sense.

Re:Just a guess (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978093)

Did you divine this from your Jump-to-conclusions mat?

Re:Just a guess (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 3 months ago | (#45978127)

I never used "Search Nearby", so what was the difference between that and putting "brothels near 1600 pennsylvania avenue washington dc"?

Re:Just a guess (5, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 months ago | (#45978281)

I never used "Search Nearby", so what was the difference between that and putting "brothels near 1600 pennsylvania avenue washington dc"?

2 diferences:

1) Search Nearby did not need an address. You could use "my current location" for example, as a starting point. This is valuable or people who are unfamiliar with an area, because they might not even know an address for their location.

2) The example you gave -- which was Google's suggested workaround -- as often as not does not work, according to users.

The simple fact is that Google, yet again, took something that was well-thought-out, and was well liked and oft used by their users, and messed it up.

According to the forum linked above, Mapquest still has this feature. I might give it a try.

Re:Just a guess (2)

Jeff Flanagan (2981883) | about 3 months ago | (#45978405)

I'd think that they'd be collecting usage data and be aware if this was a useful feature or not. Maybe usage was extremely low, and those few users, plus chronic complainers who jumped on the bandwagon, are now loudly complaining. That or Google is totally incompetent because this _does_ sound like a useful feature.

Re:Just a guess (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 months ago | (#45978455)

"I'd think that they'd be collecting usage data and be aware if this was a useful feature or not."

Useful to whom? This is a point I made elsewhere in this thread:

Simple traffic analysis doesn't cut it. Let's say only 20% of your users ever use this feature. BUT... if that feature is very important (valuable) to that 20%, getting rid of it will likely lose you that 20% for good and your business will suffer.

Seriously: in general, how many people use a feature is only a small part of the picture.

Re:Just a guess (1)

collect0r (794706) | about 3 months ago | (#45978331)

The Mayflower Renaissance Washington, DC Hotel
1127 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20036
United States

lol

Re:Just a guess (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 3 months ago | (#45978397)

Yeah, the workaround doesn't work.

1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is the biggest whorehouse of all.

Re:Just a guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978645)

1600 Pennsylvania Ave is the second biggest.

The biggest is actually located here: First St SE Washington, DC 20004

I see people coming and going all the damn time. (No pun intended)

Re: click-throughs (5, Insightful)

CrowdedBrainzzzsand9 (2000224) | about 3 months ago | (#45978237)

Google has better control of ads if they decide what you want to find.

Re: click-throughs (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | about 3 months ago | (#45978293)

Ding Ding Ding, we have a winner!

And now we're starting to get into the "you're the product" stage of Google. Google Shopping now is a pay-for-inclusion system, and soon Maps may head that direction.

I guess that the $64,000 question is how far will it go before either Google stops pushing it, or before they find that they have competitor that outperforms them and resists a purchase attempt...

Re:Just a guess (2)

xclr8r (658786) | about 3 months ago | (#45978241)

I'm guessing the feature was dropped due to privacy complaints, which just goes to show that you simply can't win.

or to monetize it

Re:Just a guess (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978513)

Before: "WHAT?!??!? Google is USING MY LOCATION DATA?!? Evil! Evil evil evil evil evil evil EVIL!!! Now they'll know where I am and/or swarm my hipster store with too many customers, driving out all the cool kids! Kill it! Kill it NOW! Now let me vomit up a series of pop culture references and internet memes to express my disapproval of this activity, as I feel that will prove my point! *ahem* Kill it with fire! Do not want! Big Brother something something! blah blah blah..."

Now: "WHAT?!??!? Google's killing their location data-using service? No! Wrong! Evil evil evil evil evil evil EVIL! Were you not listening to my barely-coherent string of pop culture references? That's not what we wanted AT ALL! Why can't you just understand that we want you to not use our location data in your location data-using service? Just tell us what's nearby us without knowing where we are! What is so hard about THAT?!?"

Maybe it's because only 300 people know about it? (3, Insightful)

s_p_oneil (795792) | about 3 months ago | (#45978005)

Maybe it's because only 300 people know about it? Yes, that was a joke, but seriously Google Maps has millions of users, and Google knows how many people click on it. If the vast majority don't (even if it's due to not having a clue), I could see why Google might drop it.

Re:Maybe it's because only 300 people know about i (4, Insightful)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about 3 months ago | (#45978101)

Maybe its because you can simply pull up an area on the map and type what you are looking for in the search bar (i.e. restaurants) and essentially get the same result.

Re:Maybe it's because only 300 people know about i (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 3 months ago | (#45978175)

That's the way I've done it, or else just using the word "near" (e.g. "Catholic confessionals near bars of questionable repute").

I didn't know about "Search Nearby" until my fiancee asked me where it had gone.

Re:Maybe it's because only 300 people know about i (3, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 3 months ago | (#45978299)

That's the way I've done it, or else just using the word "near" (e.g. "Catholic confessionals near bars of questionable repute").

Google found 1920 results.

GOP.gov - The Website of the Republican Majority in the House of ...
www.gop.gov/
The Website for the Republican Majority in the House of Representatives, GOP.gov provides the latest news from the House Republican Conference and its ...

The United States House of Representatives - House.gov
www.house.gov/
On January 3, 2014, the U.S. House of Representatives convened to start its second session of the 113th Congress. Speaker Boehner honoring President ...

Images for congressmen getting caught with gay hookers
  - Report images

List of federal political sex scandals in the United States - Wikipedia ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_federal_political_sex_scandals_in_the_Un...âZ
This is a list of sex scandals involving American federal politicians. ..... Gary Hart, Senator (D-CO): While seeking the Democratic nomination for president, Hart ...
âZMimi Alford - âZEric Massa - âZChris Lee - âZDavid Wu
Democratic Party (United States) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Party_(United_States)âZ
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the younger Republican Party. Tracing its origins ...
âZRepublican Party - âZDebbie Wasserman Schultz - âZPolitical parties in the United

Re:Maybe it's because only 300 people know about i (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 3 months ago | (#45978217)

Maybe its because you can simply pull up an area on the map and type what you are looking for in the search bar (i.e. restaurants) and essentially get the same result.

So maybe, and maybe so far... here's a probably: Because it's not generating enough revenue.I don't know why people seem to forget that google is a corporation and their main products are services... so funding these things is sorta important. They aren't a charity.

Re:Maybe it's because only 300 people know about i (3, Insightful)

lagomorpha2 (1376475) | about 3 months ago | (#45978311)

google is a corporation and their main products are services...

Correction: their main products are users. Services are just part of the manufacturing process for producing users to sell to their customers.

Re:Maybe it's because only 300 people know about i (2)

Oligonicella (659917) | about 3 months ago | (#45978353)

All consumers are also products somewhere along the line. Without the services Google offers, there would be no users. Without the users, there would be no product to advertisers. You're definition is shallow.

Re:Maybe it's because only 300 people know about i (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978419)

"You are" understanding of the Engrish language is shallow.

Re:Maybe it's because only 300 people know about i (0)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 months ago | (#45978399)

"So maybe, and maybe so far... here's a probably: Because it's not generating enough revenue.I don't know why people seem to forget that google is a corporation and their main products are services... so funding these things is sorta important. They aren't a charity."

Doesn't matter, if you ALSO forget that end-users are Google's product (according to their own founders). Therefore their software has to be attractive to users, in order to draw them in so Google can sell information about them.

I've seen a lot of this in recent years. It seems many corporations seem to have forgotten that they have to give the people what THEY want... trying to force consumers to do things the corporation's way doesn't work. That's the same basic mistake they made recently with Google+.

Re:Maybe it's because only 300 people know about i (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 3 months ago | (#45978351)

"Maybe it's because only 300 people know about it? Yes, that was a joke, but seriously Google Maps has millions of users, and Google knows how many people click on it. If the vast majority don't (even if it's due to not having a clue), I could see why Google might drop it."

The problem with that kind of analysis is that it does not include any way to measure how important the feature is to those who DO use it.

If you decide to drop (or in this case, offer a poorly-working, poorly-designed substitute) because only 20% of your users even used it, BUT that 20% of users relied on it very heavily, then guess what? Your business is going to suffer from that decision.

Re:Maybe it's because only 300 people know about i (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978373)

I used it. And even if say only 1% of Google Maps users used it, that still equals a metric fucktonne of users.

.

Re:Maybe it's because only 300 people know about i (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978549)

I used it. And even if say only 1% of Google Maps users used it, that still equals a metric fucktonne of users. .

Ah, to clarify, that would equal a metric fuckton of cheap bastards.

The term "users" would imply that any of them actually pay for this service, and I grow tired of listening to cheap bastards complain about the taste of their free lunch.

This is also part and parcel with these services being offered for "free". Since free is the only acceptable price tag for any millennial, I fear what our sponsored internet will look like in the future. Again, no complaints. You get what you pay for. Live with it.

Don't compain do something (0)

pjbgravely (751384) | about 3 months ago | (#45978015)

Just write your own map application that does this for you, or wait until someone does.

Re:Don't compain do something (1)

HnT (306652) | about 3 months ago | (#45978205)

He IS doing something, he brought it to wider attention by getting it on the /. frontpage; if we were serious-business and this was the news, he would be getting paid as a PR guy. Raising public awareness like that can be a good way of putting a bit of pressure on gigantic corporations.

Re:Don't compain do something (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978429)

Front page of slashdot? Oh yeah... Google is *TREMBLING* at the wave of indignation that is about to come their way...

That's not nearly as bad as removing street view (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978031)

I really miss being able to drag the little man to the map to use street view. I travel a lot for work so I've tried and failed at least a dozen times so far this year to use that feature since I keep forgetting that Google decided to take that feature from us.

Re:That's not nearly as bad as removing street vie (2)

Fwipp (1473271) | about 3 months ago | (#45978089)

The little yellow dude's in the bottom right.

Re:That's not nearly as bad as removing street vie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978517)

But where is the little white dude? or is Google racist???

Yelp has this (3, Informative)

MrEricSir (398214) | about 3 months ago | (#45978037)

It's far from a perfect replacement, but Yelp lets you search for businesses and such by location. You can narrow it down my moving/zooming the mini-map in the sidebar.

Patent problem? (4, Insightful)

Rob Y. (110975) | about 3 months ago | (#45978041)

Let me guess. Somebody else got a stupid patent on 'search nearby' functionality?

Re:Patent problem? (2, Informative)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 3 months ago | (#45978157)

That is my thought, too. Worse, Google's own lawyers probably decided they wouldn't win.

This doesn't surprise me. I used to work on navigation systems, and obvious ideas (to me) were turned down because they were already patented -- things like "find me the nearest McDonald's or fast food on the road ahead/programmed route".

IIRC, even things like company-specific icons on the map were already taken.

Re:Patent problem? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978221)

Don't forget the "on a mobile device with rounded corners!" variant of said patent....

Re:Patent problem? (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 3 months ago | (#45978319)

I don't understand why the "rounded corners" thing is such a bad idea. so what? it's a design patent, not a IP patent. If you don't want to infringe on patents, then don't make something that looks like something else that's patented.

Re:Patent problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978361)

Ok, I'll just apply for a patent on squares and rectangles......retire in a few years of legal battles

Re:Patent problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978445)

Because rounded corners is not a design, it's a design element. It's like patenting colors. Do you want that? Everyone has to pick unique colors for everything?

Re:Patent problem? (1)

rorripop (2899141) | about 3 months ago | (#45978583)

You're assuming the patent office is competent and rewards genuine innovation. My monitor has rounded corners. So does my keyboard. Parts of my tower are rounded. It's a stupid patent. Having pointy edges on a mobile devices is a really bad idea and the obvious thing is to round them so they don't hurt.

Which Google maps tool? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978043)

It's still available at maps.google.com...

Re:Which Google maps tool? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978121)

+1 correct. still works fine for me, just use the search box.

Re:Which Google maps tool? (2)

afidel (530433) | about 3 months ago | (#45978229)

Not if your account has been updated to the newest version, they did make traffic better with the ability to use live traffic or average traffic and a bubble on a dropped pin that shows current time from your default location but the removal of search nearby is a major bummer.

Re:Which Google maps tool? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978375)

Account? I don't have one. I open up my browser, manipulate the map to the area I want, right-click on a spot, select "what's here?", and on the left one of the choices is "search nearby," same as it's been for years. Maybe if you log out and clear your cookies, you'll have the feature back...

Make up my mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978073)

So we're ok giving away our location when using Google Maps, but don't want to give it away when doing a Google search?

Which way is the privacy wind blowing today?

Re:Make up my mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978211)

Yeah... do you even know what this function does? it tells the location of local businesses and public places. Not people. Typically all that information is public already in a phone books yellow pages. It's not exactly a privacy issue.

Re:Make up my mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978291)

The only place you're likely to find a phone book these days is on your front porch just before you toss it into the recycling bin.

Inconsistent results (3, Informative)

Naatach (574111) | about 3 months ago | (#45978097)

I use the feature, but I'm not always impressed by the results. It has my exact location, but often suggests stores that are much further away. There are many times when I will search for a store trying to find the closest, but it pushes me to one across town. It is useful, so I hope it comes back, but fixed.

I have never used it - it also cluttered the maps (0)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about 3 months ago | (#45978117)

"300 posts to the Google Product Forums "

How many people work at the Google Product Office? Probably more than 300. 300 is not enough people to be labeled more than a blip on anyone's it-radar. Perhaps they were astroturfing.

Re:I have never used it - it also cluttered the ma (2, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 3 months ago | (#45978209)

For every person that posts to complain, a thousand more can't remember their Google+ password.

Re:I have never used it - it also cluttered the ma (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978345)

this is one of the only features i use other than typing in directions... i'm sad to see it gone, i used it all the time

Try UPLINK (1)

digitaltraveller (167469) | about 3 months ago | (#45978129)

UPLINK [google.com]
Swipe left in the main app to get the search by map feature.

Also please give any feedback about the app. We expect the experience to be progressively enhanced.

Value-added service to push Google+ (2)

schwit1 (797399) | about 3 months ago | (#45978153)

This is feature they plan to roll into a pay-for-use service sold to non-Google+ customers and free for Google+ customers, after you sign in.

Best guesses... (1)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | about 3 months ago | (#45978165)

Google wouldn't intentionally cause discomfort for its userbase without a good reason. My list includes the following possiblities:

1) The feature is being improved/expanded and is still in testing phase.
2) Patent infringement (or the claim of) has caused the feature to be removed, at least temporarily.
3) The feature will reappear in a non-free version of the same service.
4) The feature is being exclusively licensed (along with the map data) by another party.

Re:Best guesses... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978233)

how about -

    you cant shake geographic locality down for preferential placement

Re:Best guesses... (2)

s7uar7 (746699) | about 3 months ago | (#45978609)

Google wouldn't intentionally cause discomfort for its userbase without a good reason

A year ago I would have agreed with you, but after having used the now much-crippled Android Google Maps app I can't help thinking there's been a change of leader there to one whose vision for the product doesn't match the users' use of it.

Damn right! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978167)

This is VERY FIRST thing I noticed it was lacking. Google has never let me down before, but it got me so upset due to the fact that I was in a hurry that I'm actually commenting on slashdot about it.

Re:Damn right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978317)

Google has never let me down before

Really?

the feature is still there people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978171)

Um... this feature is not removed at all. In the new google maps, just search as: "gas loc: your address here"

Try Bing Maps (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978201)

It's actually pretty good and can still do this.

The same reason they removed transit overlay (4, Interesting)

a4r6 (978521) | about 3 months ago | (#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.

I used it all the time (1)

Skynyrd (25155) | about 3 months ago | (#45978227)

Damn. I'll miss it.
I do a fair amount of travel for work, and would scope out neighborhoods before choosing a hotel.

Cynical answer ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#45978251)

So why would Google remove one of its best features?

Because Google plans on putting it into something more closely tied with Google+ or some other thing they plan on forcing us to use to increase their revenues?

Google cares about two things, collecting more of your data, and making more money.

Which is why so much of their stuff is perpetually in Beta, so they can decide to change it any time they like.

Re:Cynical answer ... (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 3 months ago | (#45978267)

Not having stuff in beta hasn't exactly stopped other companies from making changes any time they like.

Re:Cynical answer ... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about 3 months ago | (#45978321)

Nope. But when Google drops useful features, in my experience it's tied in with forcing people to use some of their other products.

Most other companies I'd say this was to push people to subscriptions, but Google hasn't done that yet that I'm aware of for most things.

It just seems like very useful functionality to be removing, which makes me question the 'why' behind it.

Re:Cynical answer ... (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 3 months ago | (#45978425)

Which is why so much of their stuff is perpetually in Beta, so they can decide to change it any time they like.

If it was a GA product and they removed it - what would you do - sue them?

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978259)

I still see the option when I use their maps.

Open Street Map (1)

Badooleoo (3045733) | about 3 months ago | (#45978269)

This just makes Open Street Map look better.

All those comments about OSM and its useability recently on /. is poo.

Re:Open Street Map (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978335)

I'm shocked that people still even use Google Maps. This isn't 2005 anymore. It's no longer the amazing piece of tech that showcases how awesome Google is, now it's just getting less and less usable on browsers other than Chrome as the versions roll by. As Google "focuses" its efforts, we'll continue to see the quality of their services dip, not improve.

Time to find a new service (1)

jzatopa (2743773) | about 3 months ago | (#45978271)

Can anyone recommend some other map sites that have this feature. I use this all the time. Honestly I am really starting to get fed up with google.

Because it's now built into the search box... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978285)

Try this yourself. Type in an address on the search box. when it zooms into the address, go back into the search box and then type in what you want to search nearby.

What the fuck, maybe actually try something.

I mean what the fuck, this is a non story. Second post down form the OP on the link:
"Or, simply zoom to the selected area and search for "tacos""
"Or, simply zoom to the selected area and search for "tacos""
"Or, simply zoom to the selected area and search for "tacos""

"Daniel — Google Community ManagerGoogle Employee
6/11/13

Hey jasongeurts,

You can simply search "tacos near mountain view"

https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!q=tacos+near+mountain+view&data=!1m4!1m3!1d18254!2d-122.2026819!3d37.3473175!4m10!1m9!4m8!1m3!1d609023!2d-118.4117325!3d34.0204989!3m2!1i1440!2i1105!4f13.1

Or, simply zoom to the selected area and search for "tacos"

https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!q=tacos&data=!4m10!1m9!4m8!1m3!1d18154!2d-122.4147761!3d37.7599047!3m2!1i1440!2i1105!4f13.1

Hope that helps!
-Daniel "

Re:Because it's now built into the search box... (1)

RevWaldo (1186281) | about 3 months ago | (#45978605)

This reminds me of the cable TV remote I once confronted. There was no "on", but it had an "off' button. Took me a good ten minutes to work out to turn on the TV, you punch in the channel you want first. Now the TV turns on with the channel you want already selected. One step eliminated! Progress!

Sure not getting those ten minutes back though.

The "find the location you want, then any search for a place of interest search after that is based off that location" may be "better" but it's not intuitive. Why should the user assume that's what's going to happen until they try it? Would it have killed them to put in a hoverover or something telling you that? But when you click the "search nearby" link, you know that's what's going to happen.

And I just tried this:

New Google Maps: find a location, then search "New Jersey" - you'll see a map of New Jersey.
Classic Google Maps: find a location, click Search Nearby, search "New Jersey" - you see places nearby with "New Jersey" in the name or otherwise have something to do with New Jersey. Nice.

.

ok? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978323)

This feature had never been very helpful to me, I tried it a few times, but never got anything reliable when I tried. So really...no big loss to me

Google is not your friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978363)

Google was created to be the R+D arm of the NSA. When governments specifically attempt to create massive IT projects, they always crash and burn. At best, a government (military, intelligence) IT project is LATE, over-budget to a fantastic degree, obsolete at moment of actual deployment, and barely functions. Google (and projects like Google) were highly successful attempts to leverage the advantages of the 'private' sector for creating engines of IT creation for governmental institutions.

Google's hardware and software designs power ALL the major intelligence computer facilities of the West. When Google focuses of supposedly civilian IT projects, like text-to-text language translation, speech-to-text language recognition, face recognition, photo location recognition, street-view, ad-based data-mining etc, it is because these software solutions are DIRECTLY applicable to Google's intelligence and military objectives. Software systems are perfected in the civilian sphere, because experience has taught over and over that governmental projects ONLY crafted in the military/intelligence spheres turn out to be low quality crap, if they even work at all.

For you dumb sheeple still too thick to get it, Google has been acquiring MILITARY robot engineering companies like crazy over the last couple of years. Google's so-called self-driving car is but a GROOMING test-bed for Google's real project- autonomous robotic 'tanks'. Streetview and similar are but intelligence gathering operations to provide the information needed to allow Google-designed tanks to roll down the streets of villages, towns and cities in America's target nations (Google has collected street-view information from far more nations than you realise- only a fraction of this data is available on Google's public services).

Google's plan is to allow the US military to 'subdue' any Human settlement on the planet. Obviously, this does NOT mean Google's robotic tanks could roll into a Chinese or Russian city without provoking WW3. But the US military wants the POTENTIAL, just as Obama is spending TRILLIONS to give the US war machine the ability to strike any place on the Earth with nuclear, chemical, biological or high-explosive warheads within 30 minutes of Obama giving the order.

The owners of Google KNOW that bombing from the air is always a sign of military FAILURE. Google wants America's 21st Century war machine to have the option to win every time against non-super-power opponents. Iran is the test. The entire Google robot project seeks to demonstrate how a future Iran like target can be eliminated using Google technology. The owners of Google, of course, fully expect the USA, on behalf of Israel and Saudi Arabia, to destroy Iran long before Google designed robotic holocaust machines are ready for deployment- but in the meantime, Google always uses the 'problem' of Iran to show how their tanks will be a 'solution'.

There will NEVER be self-driving cars on ordinary roads in your lifetime, and the owners of Google think it hilarious that even amongst the so-called technical community, IQs are so low, many think Google's self-drive car project is real, and not an exercise in grooming the public to accept autonomous robotic war machines. Indeed, the owners of Google, when meeting fellow elite monsters, use the public perception of Google as 'good' as proof of why the sheeple deserve no mercy.

Re:Google is not your friend (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978447)

I can TELL by the interspersion of ALLCAPS that this is a very serious post, and not just the RANTING of a somewhat UNSTABLE anonymous coward busily plugging all his electrical OUTLETS with epoxy to keep the mind control RADIATION out of his head.

No longer needed (1)

Frankie70 (803801) | about 3 months ago | (#45978393)

Search Nearby is no longer needed. Google just tells you what you want - they know, they don't need to search nearby.

Still in classic Google Maps (3, Informative)

jfengel (409917) | about 3 months ago | (#45978395)

I'm running with the "classic" Google Maps because the new Google Maps is missing a lot of features that I find important. It still has this feature.

I don't know why they remove useful, functional features. I've always assumed it had to do with streamlining the interfaces, Apple-style (motto: "It's either easy or it's impossible"). But they don't seem to end up more friendly or usable.

I keep expecting them to start adding new features such that I'm forced to abandon the classic maps if I want them, but as far as I can tell there's nothing compelling about the new Maps, and I'll keep with the classic until they stop offering it.

I'm a big fan of Google, and I really love the way they give me cool stuff for free. I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt when they stop supporting things, and assume it means that they're working on other cool stuff. But this has me rather perplexed: a lot of work put into a new interface which is not just feature-poor but clunky.

Re:Still in classic Google Maps (3, Interesting)

cjellibebi (645568) | about 3 months ago | (#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.

Little yellow street view guy (1)

watermark (913726) | about 3 months ago | (#45978415)

The same reason the little yellow street view guy wasn't in the new version either (he is now). They are releasing a rolling beta and using you to test their products.

Search along a route (1)

Pro923 (1447307) | about 3 months ago | (#45978417)

Damn, I wanted them to enhance the feature. Search nearby was "search from a point". A common use that I had was to search for a particular store along a route. For example, I'm driving home from the white mountains back to Boston - find me a home depot that is somewhere close to the route that I'm going to take, doesn't matter if it's up north or closer to Boston, just want it to be as close to the highway as possible.

Google Policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978479)

Google's policy in the past has been to remove a feature if less than 20% of the userbase use it, with the exception of the 'I'm feeling lucky button'.

Perhaps this is just another victim of google's obsession with having clean clutter-free services.

Because it was redundant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978489)

Huh? I've never even heard of this feature, but I've been using essentially the same thing on Google Maps for years. You just navigate to a spot, then search for something. The default search area is the area you're viewing on the map. That's even more intuitive than hunting for a tiny "search nearby" link. I just did a side-by side test and received nearly identical results using the two methods. So that silly link was completely redundant. Good for Google for simplifying its interface.

because it does it by default now. (1)

nobuddy (952985) | about 3 months ago | (#45978523)

Really. Try it.

Search for something. Boom, there it is, right. Now, search again for what you want nearby. Boom, there it is.

All they did is remove unnecessary keystrokes/selections.

Nothing new here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978541)

For the past few years nearly everything Google has done has been wrong. This is just a continuation of that trend. Many may think they are unstoppable but these missteps are just the beginning and will absolutely have consequences down the line.

Actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978559)

To be fair, you can still do a search like this: "X near Y." Works just fine, and will show all the X near the Y. :)

It ALWAYS already worked without it. (5, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | about 3 months ago | (#45978567)

When you have an already loaded map / search, and you enter a new search, it already does a "search nearby".

IE, if I go into Google maps and search for "Times Square, New York, NY", it shows me Times Square. If I then type in "Pizza", it will find all the pizza places AROUND TIMES SQUARE, IE the ones inside whatever window I have open. This is the way Google Maps has always behaved, it is nice an intuitive, and does not need clicking weird extra buttons. It just plain does what you expect it to do without asking.

Stop trusting Google. (1)

runeghost (2509522) | about 3 months ago | (#45978581)

How does the old aphorism go? If you look around the table and you don't know who the sucker is, it's you? Take a good look around Google. Yes, they're convenient. (Except when they're not.) But you're paying for that convenience, and not in cash.

Did this with "cache offline" too (1)

godless dave (844089) | about 3 months ago | (#45978597)

They also did this with offline caching. It used to be I could cache up to five map areas offline on my tablet. Inexplicably, they took it away. Then they brought it back but it's not in the menu of commands, you have to type "ok maps". I suspect a patent issue but it would be nice if Google gave an explanation. Removing useful features seems counter intuitive to say the least.

Where's this so called patent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45978607)

Some of the comments here have been that they took away the functionality because they were up against a patent issue. I tried searching for a bit but didn't really find anything that isn't owned by Google already. I'm especially interested in this sort of stuff because I'm writing a map application that uses OpenStreetMap with comparable features. It's a bit harrowing to search for patents related to maps and navigation on Google Patents and see that pretty much every aspect of map applications have obvious and overbroad patents. Most of the map related patents I found are owned by Google too.

Here's a Google patent that seems to cover the functionality in question:

US 8538973 B1
"A local search query and a current location of a user are received. Next, two or more places that satisfy the local search query are identified, and for each respective place a corresponding distance from the current location of the user to the respective place is also identified. The two or more places are then ranked in accordance with scores that are based, at least in part, on popularity of the two or more places and the corresponding distances from the current location of the user, to produce a set of ranked places."

https://www.google.com/patents/US8538973?dq=map+search+locations+distance&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Wy7YUqrlIY_4qAGZtIDYAw&ved=0CHUQ6AEwCThG

Oh, and can we please have Wikipedia links back? (1)

cjellibebi (645568) | about 3 months ago | (#45978629)

Please? I really miss being able to explore a patch of this wonderful planet and read Wikipedia articles about nearby places.
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