Have you ever been in a new neighborhood and could not locate a Starbucks or pizza joint? Sure you could go Googling to find one but we found a nifty website that seems to work all over the world in conjunction with a little Google Maps magic.
Basically you get a map with a pull down menu of locations to locate local businesses by addresses that are near you. They come pre-populated with popular stuff but as you will see below you can add custom stuff as well. They also have a free iPhone app but I do not have a iPhone to test it out on. So we will be covering the web application today.
When we first arrive at MashSpots you will see a map like this with your location data pre-filled out like below. It also picks what you are looking for in the first field. You are represented by a little green and blue icon in the middle of the map.
You will see that you can move your icon to tell the application where you are. This will list places closest to you first. So go ahead and drag that little dude around and place him where he should be. You can also just click on your location or modify the location in the top bar.
I dragged my little dude from the middle of Linden Blvd to Sheepshead Bay, as that is where I am. I left the default groceries in the what? field and this is what it returned to locate grocery related businesses by addresses that are near me. A list of 4 spots close by and their respective information. You can click on a red dot for more information.
Let’s look at the pre-configured categories. You will see they are Pizza, Coffee, Bar (yeah!), Restaurant, Hotel, Parking, Groceries, Apartment Building, Banks, Shopping and Hospitals (hope you don’t need them!)
But you can type in something as well. We tried it with Starbucks and it worked swimmingly. Below you will see the prefilled options as they appear on the site.
Locations where you can locate businesses by addresses near you include San Francisco, New York City (woot!), Chicago, London, Berlin, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam, Sydney, Tokyo, Mumbai and Shanghai. Even if your city is not listed just type it in like I did for Brooklyn below.
You can make the search results show 8 results instead of 4, using the drop down menu on the left under the search results. Below you can see I changed it to 8.
These 8 pizza places are shown on the map in relation to where I am.
Oh look my favorite Pizza place is on there! I love some Benny’s Gourmet in my neighborhood. They are a little expensive and kosher but if you can deal with no meat with your cheese it is awesome. I click on the appropriate red dot and see its information listed. I think I will order from them tonight. This is making me hungry!
Next up I typed Starbucks into the What? field and saw where my closest coffee fix is:
That is some walk so I will probably just get coffee at a corner store!
How do you locate places in a new area? Do you have another website you like? Have you used MashSpots’ iPhone app? We would love to hear about it in the comments!