Google Local Maps Stickers Come to the US
Google’s December 2009 announcement that it would be issuing Google Maps “Favorite Place” location markers has now come true. Google has begun shipping the stickers to US-based business. We were fortunate enough to see one of the first stickers shipped in the US (the program was tested in the UK late last year and led to a rash of Google Maps Sticker Thievery. We have also seen the Google correspondence accompanying the sticker.
Behold: The First (or Nearly First) Recorded Google Maps Sticker in the US
The following is one of the first of 100,000 promised shipped to US-based businesses:
This sticker was received by a The Butler Law Firm in Austin, Texas on February 20th. The Butler Firm has an active Google Maps listing that has enjoyed a high number of visits and customer actions. The sticker arrived accompanied by a letter that states “Congratulations, you’re a Favorite Place on Google. Between July 1 and September 30, Google users found your Austin Divorce Lawyer business listing 7306 times, and requested driving directions or other information about your business 346 times. Because you’re so popular, we’re enclosing a window decal that shows customer you’re a Favorite Place on Google. The sticker includes a special bar code that potential customers may scan with cameras on their phones…”
The Technology Behind Google Maps Stickers
It’s more than a sticker. The Official Google Statement on Map Stickers states that the stickers have a bar code (clearly pictured), known as a QR code, that will enable camera-enabled smart phones including iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices, to read the bar code and direct users to the information page for that business.
I want one!
To scan the codes, phones must be enabled with a QR code-reading app. iPhone users can pick up the QuickMark app for $1.99. Other apps include BeeTagg and NeoReader.