Perhaps I am being overly-dramatic.
I don’t need to catalog all the ways Google Maps/Places/+Local makes it hard for businesses to figure out how to work with it. Spend a few hours over at Mike Blumenthal’s blog for more on that and you’re brain will likely explode.
This week’s launch (re-launch?) of Nokia’ HERE Maps is a prime example of a consistent trend where online mapping services, in the rush to create the greatest consumer mapping service ever, seem to treat businesses as second-class citizens/after-thoughts.
Earlier this week, I posted How To Add a Business To Nokia Maps (aka Here.net). Typical ignorant American that I am, I had never used Nokia’s maps. Then when they made their big, in-your-face-Apple/Google announcement, I had to check it out. The first thing I noticed was that there was almost no effort to communicate to businesses how to work with the service. In fact, the UI was so lacking in that regard, that in my initial draft of the post, I actually wasn’t sure how to add a business to Nokia Maps, err, I mean Here (HERE?).
Chris Sheehy of Sidewalk Branding was kind enough to save my credibility by pointing out to me that you could add a business to HERE via Nokia Prime Place.
Now go back to HERE and check out the home page, the navigation, the FAQ page, etc. and I defy you to find any information on what you can do if your business is not listed on the service, let alone any mention of Nokia Prime Place.
I get it. Consumers come first and all that, but while Nokia’s HERE hoopla might get a lot of people checking it out for a second or two, who do you think is really going to spend time on the service in the first few weeks? My bet goes to marketers trying to make sure they are properly represented.
While they do provide a not-so-easy-to-find FAQ on what to do if the data for a business is incorrect, how hard would it have been to add a “For Businesses” section to the FAQ or the footer which mentioned that you could go to Nokia Prime Place? And how many businesses will figure out that HERE and Nokia Prime Place are even related? Nokia hasn’t even changed the Nokia Maps branding on the Prime Place home page.
Apple Maps is no better in this regard, hence the need for shameless blogs like this one.
And while we are on the snark, a word about the branding – too generic. Let’s do a test. Hey, let’s go to Jumbo’s Clown Room. What’s the address?
a. Hold on, let me check Google Maps
b. Hold on, let me check Apple Maps
c. Hold on, let me check Here
We interrupt this Apple Maps blog to get you the skinny on Nokia’s newly announced Here maps service. While there is not a lot of available info on how businesses can work with Here (kind of like Apple Maps right?), I thought I’d cobble together any information I could find and list it here:
How To Claim Your Business on Here.net
To claim your business on Here, search for it using the name and city. Since Here is a global service, it doesn’t seem to do well unless you add the city and state to the query. If your business comes up in the results, click on it and you’ll get a profile pop-up like the one above. Click on the “I own this place” link and you’ll be taken through a login process after which you choose either phone or postcard verification as shown below:
Phone verification is instantaneous. Postcard verification can take up to 2 to 6 weeks. Of course, if the phone number or address is incorrect, then you might have problems verifying you own the business. Which brings me to…
How To Report a Problem With Your Business Listings on Here.net
Click on “Report This Place” link in the pop-up for the business as shown above and you’ll get a “Report this Place” screen below. Select “Other” and let them know that the data is wrong. Submit the correct info and wait. It will likely take them a while to update it, but that’s the breaks when it comes to maps, right?
How To Add Your Business To Nokia Maps
Go Nokia Prime Place and you can easily submit a new business and verify it via postcard. I just submitted mine today. I’ll update this post when I receive the postcard.
If you try to add a business via Here, it’s a bit more confusing. If you are outside the US, you can go into the “Map Creator” section, zoom in on a city and click on “Add a New Place” in the nav. There are about 100+ countries that are currently supported including Palau and Equatorial Guinea.
At this point there is no clear way to add a U.S.-based business to Here.net if it’s not already listed. I am trying to figure out how they are getting their business listing data for each country. My best guess at the moment is this list of partners for Earthmine, the 3D mapping company Nokia has acquired. If anyone has any better info, please share in the comments.
Will update this as I figure Nokia maps out.