Sometimes it's hard being a Brit in Silicon Valley. Have you tried to find a decent pint, authentic fish and chips or well-made bowler hats in northern California lately? (Okay, the last one isn't a priority.) There's also that feeling of being left out when new technology gets launched in the U.S. before it reaches the rest of the world.

Take Google Local and Google Maps, for example - innovative local business search and beautiful interactive maps. However, as per the barrage of emails I got from mates back home: New Orleans, Anchorage and Beverly Hills are all very well, but what about London, Cardiff, and Belfast?

I guess my colleagues got tired of my moaning, so I'm delighted to introduce Google Local UK and Google Maps UK. The Google UK office and a few of us homesick Brits in California have been helping out with the development.

Engineer: Why are the streets in the UK such a mess?

Me: Sadly, the ancient Britons, Romans and Vikings had a different idea of urban planning than do we moderns.

Product Manager: Manchester's not that important, is it?

Me: It is if you're a Mancunian! (So watch it, lad.)

Give it a go: your fish and chips in Plymouth, theatres near Piccadilly Circus, and haggis in Inverness await.

P.S. We Brits also love our text messaging, so all this info (and more) can be found on the go by texting your (UK) queries via Google SMS.