As noted in the above post, Urban Mapping continues to build out its neighborhoods and compete to license its neighborhood mapping API. It has 80,000 neighborhood maps developed. But it is also focusing on providing additional value with several features that add incremental page views, says CEO and founder Ian White.
Relatively new endeavors for the company include a “mass transit routing engine” (like Hopstop) and now, a new service providing complete information about parking garages, such as the number of parking spaces, prices, street entrances, valet availability, indoor/outdoor status, etc.
“It is very challenging to do — there are 60 attributes for each parking lot,” says White. “But it allows us to get the incremental page views. To date, Urban Mapping has put in the shoe leather to get information about 5,000 parking lots in 10 metros. “There are no real shortcuts” to getting the information.
While the uses of parking information may be relatively limited, White says it is also extremely targeted. It is easy to discern from parking garage lookups exactly what users are doing (i.e., whether they’re seeing the Knicks or the ballet, or going to a restaurant). “That makes it ripe to send out offers,” he says.
Most importantly, the service also helps to simplify things. Finding a garage next to a major event is a major source of consumer aggregation. “One of the equations in local search is how to make it a lot simpler,” says White. The company is currently working with a partner that might allow people to reserve garage spots. Other services will be added soon.