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  • The individuals who post here work at Intuit and are some of the best and brightest. The opinions expressed here, while probably right and certainly smart, are their own, and are not necessarily reviewed in advance by anyone but the individual author. Sometimes, the author is audacious and decides to post an opinion without a buddy reviewing it, and at other times, he or she may seek counsel of a friend. Regardless, these opinions do not necessarily reflect the view of Intuit or any other person or company. Although, since these people are smart to begin with, Intuit might agree with them - or might not.
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August 17, 2006

Putting Us on the Map

I'm Brian, and as a member of the Zipingo Team, I'm responsible for researching, developing and implementing the Google mapping solution for Zipingo. For starters, I had to compare features for three different map vendors -- MapQuest, Yahoo! and Google -- to decide which solution would be the best.

MapQuest has fees and isn't that easy to implement. Sure, has many desirable features, like a component that could automatically geocode as well as provide driving directions to specified locations, but those features have additional cost. At this point, Zipingo wanted a "no cost" solution.

With and Google, you send them each the info that you want to map and then they send your site the data. The two offer such similar features, but it eventually became clear which one to implement. Since I had already implemented a working sample solution using static pages, we decided to just stick with Google.

How It Works: A Zipingo user clicks on the "map" link found next to the company details. Using the , Zipingo sends Google a geocode, based on the address that was clicked, through a simple Web request. Then Google returns the results in HTML, which displays a map for our users. That map is actually hosted on their server, so Google owns the map -- if there's a mislabeled street name, that's Google's data issue. But if we send them bad data, like an incorrect or nonexistent street address, we're responsible for what gets displayed.

Map Link on Zipingo Business Listing - Click to Enlarge
Why We Added Mapping: Zipingo is a place where you can search for businesses you haven't been to before. Having a map gives a person a sense of where it's located. With an accurate map, you have a good sense of where to go and how far it is. Right now, our limitation is that we don't have driving directions or step-by-step capabilities. But that's on the roadmap for the future.

I hope you like our new mapping feature. Let us know if you have any concerns or comments about any of our new features by contacting us through .

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Comments

Zipingo Kim

Steve -

Yes, it's true. We don't allow editing of reviews after they have been posted. That's because other users could post follow-up or rebuttal reviews and editing would cause confusion. There is really no industry standard for this. Some sites allow users to edit reviews forever, while other sites have a time limit. Still others, like Zipingo, allow no user editing of reviews once they've been posted.

As for rating us -- you can't rate Zipingo on Zipingo.com because Zipingo is not a business. It's a product offered through a Web site. If you want to rate the business named Intuit Inc., you'll find that several users have done so and we do not delete unfavorable reviews. We're very interested in hearing what our customers have to say.

By the way, I searched Zipingo's customer care records and there is no record of any feedback incident with your email address. I also searched our user database and there is no user registered with your email address. I'd love to help you, but based on the email address you used to post your blog comment here, there is nothing to delete.

Can you please go to the feedback form on Zipingo.com and reply with your Zipingo user name so I can personally handle your request?

Warm regards,

~ Zipingo Kim

P.S. A copy of this reply has also been sent to your email address.

Steve

I've tried to Contact Zipingo 4 times or more. Ignored EVERY TIME. Next stop is corporate headquarters of Intuit. Zipingo doesn't care about customers, we're all just numbers to them apparently. Since they have no email address validation system, if you have a typo in your email address you can apparently still get on the system half the system doesn't work.
You also can't edit you're own feedback! It's unbelievable. I can see lawsuits popping up in the near future due to this. Despite the fact that the service is part of Intuit it's rough around the edges and the staff apparently doesn't care enough to get back to customers and listen to customer requests. All I wanted was for them to delete a feedback that I posted. Yet I was ignored completely. Real nice way to treat customers. I guess there's a good reason why you can't rate Zipingo on the Zipingo site!

Sanjay Kumar

Great job Brian. Any particular reason for not considersing Microsoft mapping solution? Looks like it did not even make the preliminary consideration cut!

E. Craig Crawford

Good job, Brian. The map option is a stellar idea for all the rated businesses; a great benefit. A big "Thanks" to you and the rest of the Zipingo team.

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