The bank’s response to my suggestion that it load its branches and atms onto Google Maps was basically a link to the page on its site with a link to the branch locator (and other information).
Update 3: It turns out that what I thought was the bank’s response to my comment was not meant to be a response but rather a supplement to the original post on the page. I managed to slip my comment in between the original status posting and this update with the link to the locator page.
I tried out the branch locator and searched for the Woodmead branch and got this result:
Then I searched for (and found) the Woodmead branch on Google Maps (by the way, this map is a dynamic map embedded in this page so play around with it):
Update: I managed to pick a terrible Google Maps example here. It isn’t even in the right suburb! No idea who created the landmark but this is another good reason for Standard Bank (and any other business with an interest in making its physical location/s known) to take control of this sort of information layer.
Not sure about you but I find entries on something like Google Maps much more useful to me. I can save the location, sync it to Ovi Maps and navigate there. When it comes to Standard Bank’s branch locator, I get to print out a page with some data.
Looking at it from a different direction, if I am going to be in an area and want to know where the nearest Standard Bank branch or ATM is, I’d be able to find it pretty easily if that data was on Google or Ovi Maps. And if all that data on the branch locator was added to each Google Maps listing, well, I may not need the branch locator and the bank will have given me a tremendously valuable resource.
Just saying …
Update 2: Angus Robinson from Brandsh, Standard Bank’s agency’s head, called me after I published this post to chat about the post and, during the course of our conversation, pointed out that the mobile site (standardbank.mobi) also includes a branch and ATM locator and a more dynamic one at that. I didn’t even know that the mobile site had this functionality. I tried the mobile site locator out and searched for ATMs in Sandton:
I selected the one at or near the McDonalds and requested directions. Its not clear how it calculated these directions or whether there is some form of cell tower tracking or GPS involved but this is what I got:
I also tried the map and got the following:
This does make it easier to find branches and ATMs on the go, for sure. What would help more is a layer on Google Maps for people who want to search for these branches in a more dynamic and useful format. Max Kaizen pointed out to me that she has found Standard Bank branches/ATMs using Ovi Maps (something else I didn’t research). If you have a Nokia device that runs Ovi Maps, that seems like a better bet, assuming it is more accurate than the “Woodmead” branch I included a map to above. This is actually one time that Ovi Maps seems to have better map data than Google Maps and makes it easier to find stuff.
What do you think?