SimCity & Google Earth

SimCity was always one of my favorite games. kpaul recently noticed a new site by the name of Chicago Crime, which overlays crimes with their locations using Google Maps. Pretty scary to see that in Chicago there was over a murder a day last month.

What kind of ad marketplace would Google have if they:

  • integrated Google maps and public data into a social network

  • which linked to - or allowed people to upload - business feedback (think Local Froogle)
    • should I buy from here?

    • what other businesses are cheaper or provide better service?
    • should I consider working here?
    • who else is hiring in this field or near here?

    and destination reviews

    • is this place worth visiting?

    • when is best?
    • who has the best travel deals?

They also could show the history and trust rating of reviewers, as well as letting you determine how many social connections away you were willing to accept reviews from, maybe they could match up personalities or demographic profiles if people gave them that data, or they could let you create your own combined metric.

Add a strong recommending engine technology to that (like how says "of the people who viewed this product ultimately 37% ended up buying XYZ") and Google will serve ads that know what you want even when you don't.

Google has data worth lots and lots of money. It will be interesting to see how they aggregate content and collect feedback to leverage their market position.

Any merchant heavily exposed to the web which is not building communities or other hard to replicate assets may end up in the hurt locker in the next couple years.

Google's ad serving technology is still somewhat primative. As time passes and more major networks leverage their market postions more and more merchants will get marginalized by the forces that be.

Published: May 20, 2005 by Aaron Wall in google


Bill Eger
May 9, 2006 - 11:39pm

I think Google should consider buying the SimCity part of EA and making it the program it could be. Suggest two levels, one for younger folks and another for those interested in real-world planning at an activist or professional level.

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