I have decided to start a new feature called Local Search Tip. Every other Sunday, I will post another way to get access to quality Canadian content. Most of these posts will be focused on different ways to retrieve Canadian business and person data, however, I will also profile ways to get other local content.
Local Search Tip #1 – 411411 SMS Service
– conducting a search for Sushi by the CN Tower
Let’s assume that you just spent the day touring downtown Toronto checking out the local sites and attractions and now you are interested in having some Sake and Maki Rolls. What to do?
One option is to use 411411 SMS service. The screenshots below are from the iphone, but the great feature of SMS services is that they work on any cellular phone. So what do you do?
First, enter your messages, type in 411411 in the number and type in sushi, cn tower. The format of the 411411 service is simple – what,where.
where=any city, province or landmark
Hit send as in this example (note: your cell phone may have different prompts, so think of the 411411 service as having a conversation with a friend). This is going to ping the 411411 SMS service. Because the system has recognized the landmark CN Tower, it will display results based on proximity. In a second, some two seconds, your phone will ring or vibrate and you will be presented with the following:
It will display the first 3 listings of 9. You can always continue to search for more (reply back with M). My experience with SMS is that the best experience is when you know what you are looking for. NOTE: you may need to scroll on your phone to see the results, this will vary based on your cell phone.
So, looking at the results you think to yourself, I remember a friend telling me about ZAZOU. If you want their phone number or specific address, simply hit reply, enter 2 and hit send. You will get back more details on this specific business.
As you can see you are only 0.4km from the CN Tower. Now that you have the address and phone number, you can easily walk over and enjoy your rolls or call them to make a reservation.
Try the service – it works across Canada and is bilingual in French and English. It is also updated daily as changes occur in business listings across Canada so you know it is always accurate.
Behind the Scenes
Where do the results for this service come from. The 411411 SMS service is powered by YellowPages.ca and uses the same what/where search parameters. Here is the link to Sushi, CN Tower on YellowPages.ca – notice the first 3 results …