“All-in-One” Web Application Raises the Bar for Local Search
OAKLAND, CA (RUSHPRNEWS) 12/26/2006 — Ask.com, a leading search destination and wholly-owned business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI – News), today introduced AskCity, a new local search service that integrates the best local information on the Web with a distinctive, “all-in- one” user interface and intuitive search tools. A free service, the new AskCity is immediately available at http://city.ask.com, as well as via the Ask.com homepage Toolbox (www.ask.com).
“Local is one of the top five categories in search, yet it’s the one with the lowest user satisfaction,” said Jim Lanzone, CEO of Ask.com. “We’re raising the bar for local search by introducing a product that seamlessly combines the best content, technology and tools in one place. We call that place AskCity.”
“Content is one key to doing local search right, and as part of IAC, Ask.com had unfiltered access to our sister companies’ leading local content,” Lanzone continued. “We were able to remix that content using our own search recipe, combine it with content from many non-IAC companies, and design our own experience around it. The result is, we believe, the most comprehensive and flat-out helpful local search product available.”
All-in-One Local Search: AskCity
AskCity combines the Web’s best local content with technology and tools all in one place, allowing you to do multiple things right from the search results. For example, you can:
— Find a restaurant and reserve a table.
— Search for events and movies and buy tickets.
— Find a home services contractor and book an appointment.
— Get maps with driving and walking directions and annotate them.
— Build an itinerary to plan a day on the town.
— Save, send and share information with friends and family.
“We know that for most people, using a local search engine is just the first step in a process that ends with taking some type of action – booking a restaurant reservation, making a service appointment, buying movie or event tickets or driving to a local store,” said Doug Leeds, vice president of product management at Ask.com. “We designed AskCity to make it easier and faster to use a search engine to help accomplish tasks like these.”
The new features of AskCity include:
— Four local search verticals in one. AskCity integrates
businesses/services, events, movies and maps & directions in a single
interface. No need to jump around between search verticals.
— Business Search. Find businesses and services, and get deep
editorial and user reviews. Search by name or category.
— Event Search. Find events like concerts, musicals and sports. Search
by genre, artist, venue, even neighborhood.
— Movie Search. Find movie times, theaters, reviews and more. Search
by title, theater, genre and even by director or actor.
— Maps & Directions Get street, satellite and physical maps that can
be annotated, saved and shared.
— The best local content. AskCity integrates content from dozens of
partners, as well as information culled from the Web, to provide users
with access to broad and deep local content. AskCity includes:
— Data acquired through partnerships with sister IAC companies,
including Citysearch (with its millions of business listings and a
decade of editorial and user reviews), ReserveAmerica (with
reservations to more than 100,000 campsites in 48 states),
ServiceMagic (with its nationwide network of 45,000+ pre-screened
home service professionals), Ticketmaster (with tickets for more
than 60,000 concurrent events) and TicketWeb (with tickets to more
than 3000 venues and events).
— Data acquired through direct partnerships with leading brands like
Fandango (tickets sales for more than 15,000 screens and 1,300
theaters), OpenTable (with its relationships with more than
6,000 restaurants), TripAdvisor (with more than 5 million unbiased
reviews and opinions), StepUp (with relationships with approximately
1,200 individual retailer partners), Wcities (with local content
that spans over 1900 cities) and others.
— Information culled across the Web from top sites like InsiderPages,
Yelp and many others.
— World-class search. AskCity utilizes Ask.com’s world-class search
technology and tools for superior relevance. Ranking is dynamically
determined by many factors, including business categories; proximity in
distance for locations, or in time for events; ratings and reviews; and
— Seamless interface. AskCity’s innovative three-column format makes it
easy to search, organize, share and transact all on one page, without
— Search results are displayed on the center pane.
— Each search result is integrated onto the map in the right pane.
— The left pane hosts the search box and a series of links that let
you refine your results.
— One-click access to transact. AskCity provides direct links to leading
transaction sites, including Fandango, OpenTable, ServiceMagic,
Ticketmaster and TicketWeb.
— Search by zip code, neighborhood, even street. Narrow searches by zip
code and neighborhood. AskCity even “bounds” or outlines the area
graphically on the associated map for visual reference. It also offers
the unique ability to search by street name.
— Related search. AskCity offers suggestions to narrow or expand searches
by many of factors, including by neighborhood, cuisine or movie genre.
— “Pin” results and create an itinerary. Search results can be saved with
the “Pin It” link, allowing users to save listings and then continue
searching to create an entire itinerary or save for later use.
— Killer Maps. AskCity takes AskMaps (which launched in February 2006 and
has been touted for its elegant design, superior map quality and pace-
setting tools and features) another huge step forward with new
capabilities. Highlights include:
— Annotation tools. Do all the things you’ve always done with paper
maps with annotation tools. Add text, freehand paint, lines and
shapes to draw circles around locations, trace distances, write
notes and more.
— Save a “Snapshot.” Take a “snapshot” of map complete with location
pins, directions and annotations, which can be saved for later
reference and shared.
— Neighborhood and zip code bounding. AskCity outlines the boundaries
of zip code and neighborhood searches right on the map. It’s a great
way to narrow searches in a new town or explore new things to do in
— Some of the most-loved features of AskMaps have been integrated into
— Multipoint directions. AskCity directions don’t stop at “Point
B”. You can plot a route of up to ten locations per map.
— Walking Directions. Choose between driving and walking
directions. No more having to follow one-way streets, or walk
along a busy highway on foot, just because your map thinks you’re
in a car.
— Location pinning. Add a location pin with a simple right mouse
click. Perfect when you don’t the specific address, like the
airport, a park or an attraction.
— Sharing. AskCity offers multiple options for sharing your results, your
maps or your plans, including:
— Send to phone. Send business, event or movie listings info (name,
address and phone number) to mobile phones via SMS.
— Send Snapshots. Share active or saved snapshots (complete with
search results, location pins and annotations) via email with
friends. Now you don’t have to read directions to them over the
phone — just send them a personalized map!
B-roll of the new AskCity, which includes sound-bites from Jim Lanzone, is available at the TheNewsMarket.com. In addition, a podcast introducing AskCity, presented by Doug Leeds, is available for a limited time at WebmasterRadio.FM at http://www.webmasterradio.fm/askcity/askcity.mp3.
A leading search engine on the Web, Ask.com combines world-class search technology with one-of-a-kind search tools to help people get what they are looking for faster. Ask.com sites include Ask.com US (http://www.Ask.com ), Ask.com Deutschland, Ask.com Espana, Ask.com France, Ask.com Italia, Ask.com Japan, Ask.com Nederlands and Ask.com UK. Additionally, Ask.com syndicates its search technology and advertising units to a network of affiliate partners. Ask.com is a division of IAC Search & Media, a wholly-owned business of IAC/InterActiveCorp. Ask.com b-roll footage is available at www.thenewsmarket.com/ask.
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