The product marketing team is currently experimenting with some new ideas for Google Local, and I just went to Kansas City to beta-test some of them with my colleagues Resmi and Samantha. Our first order of business was to visit mall kiosks. Since my poor sense of direction has inspired my family to invoke “The Debbie Rule” (the listener travels in the opposite direction from what Debbie says), before arriving in Kansas City I used Google Maps to print out driving directions from Rafael Hotel to Town Center Plaza, and from there to the Oak Park Mall.

Aside from Arthur Bryant’s barbeque, a highlight of the trip was a ball game between those major rivals, the Kansas City Royals vs. the St. Louis Cardinals. Not only did the Royals rally in the 8th inning to come within one run of the Cards, but it was pretty cool to see fans wave big foam hands from Google.

(If it's too hard to read, one side says “Know your city like the back of your hand. In this case, a big foam hand. Google Local.” The other side says “Go Royals.”)

Some Cardinals fans also enjoyed the hands - but none of those photos are suitable for posting (the hands we provided all started out with five fingers, I swear).