We may be able to roam the globe online, but what about finding a locksmith - or a Thai place that delivers - when you need it? Meet Google Local, our local search service, which we've just enhanced with some new features. We beefed up the technology that delivers more precise results. We cleaned up the design a bit, so the maps you see with the results show the location of your find. We link to more information than before - business home pages, and ratings, reviews. And now you can zoom and pan the maps without reloading the page.

Say a blogger wants to get to a wi-fi hotspot with decent coffee somewhere around Palo Alto. She would definitely have trouble finding listings that provide the right detail through the yellow pages or on other local information sites. But by searching for [wi-fi coffee] in [Palo Alto] on Google Local, she could be caffeinating, and posting, in no time. A time-honored saying is "all politics is local." That's hard to argue, but what we also think is that some search is local, and when it is, it should be useful.

- Bret Taylor
Google Local product manager