New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg posts on the Official Google Blog today about a new partnership between the city and Google to launch a series of local search tools.
This will include a City Guide site, NYCgo.com, with mapping and local search powered by Google Maps. The site will feature lots of mashups for finding bars, restaurants, museums, clubs, etc. It will also contain lots of tools to get you to send listings to your mobile device (via SMS), containing links to Google mobile maps.
But the more novel feature will exist beyond the Web destination, in a real-life destination at 810 Seventh Ave. (between 52nd & 53rd). There, the city has set up a travel center chock-full of giant touch-screen monitors that let visitors plot out things to do in the city. Once a trip is planned, users can then see it play out on Google Earth on a giant flat screen monitor.
In addition to providing some great utility for users, this seems to partly be a marketing play for Google. Indeed, the Seventh Avenue travel center will end up being a travel destination in itself. Though Google famously doesn’t advertise, it’s good at product integrations like this. Well played in this case.
For the city, it means a lot of things, including promoting travel at a time when travel is clearly down. Some of the most advertised features of NYCgo.com, in fact, include finding discounted rates for various arts and entertainment around the city. Most of this will come from content partners such as the popular Restaurant Week.
Check out the video for all these products here.