Good article on all the other types of local content, beyond traditional local business listings, that are infiltrating search results.
The main theme is see here is the movement towards the ‘digitization’ of local content, and more specifically, the products and markets which make that digitization possible. The primary challenge with local information has always been that ‘digital’ is not its native format. Local information exists in small newspapers, on a new sign over a previously vacant storefront and in people’s accumulated experience. These aren’t things that any search engine can take advantage of. What you see today are more products that allow, and more markets that encourage, people to create digital representations of this local information. As the digitization of local information increases, it only makes sense that its prominence in search results will increase. We all live locally after all.