Fred Wilson has a great local discussion going on the AVC blog about how to shorten a Google Maps URL to make it easier to send. One of the commenters suggested checking out http://amap.to/
Here’s the shortened link for Pleasanton, CA: http://amap.to/evtp9
Tags: Online Maps
// Jul 1, 2010 at 10:23 pm
Interesting…. but is there anything special about ampa.to other than the maps functionality? can’t one just go into their google places account and copy the permalink into bit.ly? I’m guessing that would do the same thing.
I’m also very cautious of over linking (or linking at all) to the maps account as it seems like there are a lot of blackhat techniques that exploit that.
// Jul 2, 2010 at 3:18 pm
Hi Grow Clicks
Saw your comment on amap.to . I’m one of the team who developed it so happy to give our view on why its a little bit different from say using bit.ly
amap.to was just intended to be a fairly simple tool to create short map urls. The initial advantage that we saw over using say google maps combined with bit.ly is more for the recipient of the link.
With bit.ly links, or any of the link shorteners, they don’t give the recipient an idea of what the short URL links to. With the domain name of “a map to”, we hoped it was a little more self evident as to what the link was going to take you to (so not black hat)
Who might use it? businesses are an obvious one that we thought had a problem to solve. So many small businesses still make it hard for their customers to find their premises, They often just provide a written address which a customer then has to type into a map service such as Google maps or street directories – so a lot of steps for your customer to go through to find you!
With an amap.to link (auto short 5 char or customised name) businesses can include the link along side their contact details in all of their marketing and communications with their customers – on their website, email signatures, tweets, as well as printed material (ads, white pages, business cards, letter heads)
So, create a link for your business, upload a photo of your premises or your logo next to the map, and hopefully you will see more customers through your door. Not bad for a free marketing tool eh?
How do we make our money – nothing surprising here. There are some travel booking links at the bottom, and bookable hotels in the map if you tick the hotel filters which we get a commission for – e.g. http://amap.to/ParisHotel_txdx7
// Jul 2, 2010 at 3:38 pm
Thanks for all the info! I’m definitely interested to use this if I point any social network pages to listings pages. As you may know, it is a big no-no to do that in excess, however, I have been playing with the idea of utilizing twitter/facebook for our clients to help build up references from their client onto their GLL pages… this would be a perfect situation for that.
Honestly, the only issue I have is that, as a new service, there is always the chance that map.to doesn’t stay in business… and that would lead to a tremendous amount of work in the future. Is there anything you can tell me about the direction you guys are taking in your business that can give me a little comfort going forward using map.to?
Thanks again for all the info about your service, that goes a long way.
// Jul 2, 2010 at 5:04 pm
amap.to is a service we put out there about a year ago whilst developing our core business which is travel networks. see Socialhorizon.com if you want more info.
amap.to uses some mapping and data overlay functionality that we were building for our travel networks. In the spring last year everyone was starting to use bit.ly etc with the rise of twitter, so just seemed like a neat thing to do with what we had.
As a team we have a strong background in marketing, so saw the potential benefit for users. Our co-founder / developer Scollay was the first Director of Market Research at AOL in the 90’s. I worked for Google for 3rs in their Online Sales and Operations division. Our other co-founder worked for publishing / direct marketing companies including Time-Life.
amap.to is a one page website with a fairly straight forward database behind it, so it does not take a lot to maintain. Although we are based in Australia, amap.to is hosted in the US with a RackSpace company, so good infrastructure behind it. With the cost of hosting dropping every year, I cant see why we would ever turn it off.
// Jul 8, 2010 at 7:53 am
Dose anyone have ideas on how to find search’s that trigger local business map on google
// Jul 18, 2010 at 7:47 pm
Basically any search that has a location in it should generate the 7 Pack listing for Google Places
Other searches may come up as well without locality based on Google’s personalisation – basically google knows where you are