Special Correspondent

Yahoo! India’s city-specific information grid will feature interactive maps, localised search tool

Users can find, use, share and enhance local information

Local businesses across consumer categories can get listed free of cost

CHENNAI: Yahoo! India on Wednesday launched its city-specific information grid for Chennai, combining the benefits of a digital business directory illustrated with interactive maps and a localised search tool.

The Yahoo! India Local (Beta) available at the local.yahoo.in portal provides users a list of local resources across categories ranging from real estate to restaurants and banks to bakeries, the company spokesmen told a press conference.

The local listings thread through 300 categories and will also feature interactive maps and driving directions, local events and movies. The “Essentialist” could, for example, put someone planning relocation to Anna Nagar on to a listing of movers and packers, gas agency or cable TV provider.

Gopal Krishna, Head of Audience, Yahoo! India, said the beta tool reflected the Internet major’s strategy to be “the leading starting point on the web by providing the most relevant and compelling experience for local needs.”

With the thrust on grassroots, Yahoo! is trying to make the web more useful, engaging, interesting and local to users, he said. Users can also write reviews, dish out star ratings on the food at an eatery, leave footprints if they have been to a place on the listings, mark businesses on the map or add their favourite events on Yahoo! India Local. Contributions shared by the community equip users with first-hand accounts.

Local businesses across consumer categories can now get listed free of cost on Yahoo! India Local to be discovered by users resorting to an online search. A revenue model for this is yet to be evolved.

“On Yahoo! India, users can find, use, share and enhance local information at ease while small businesses and local merchants can grow as online users discover them here,” said Sridhar Ranganathan, Business Head, Local and Maps, Yahoo! India.

The localised search feature has been launched in Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai and will gradually be rolled out to other cities and towns. The product was conceptualised and developed by Yahoo! India engineers and Yahoo! India Research and Development team.

Integration of web and mobile would allow users of Yahoo! India Local to download or share information via SMS or e-mail. More information is available on www.yahoo.in