Greetings from inside the SEOigloo!
Matt McGee’s extremely good post about Google maps at gas station pumps answers my title question with a big, huge ‘no’. Please, take a gander at Matt’s list of reasons why putting Google maps at the pump is unlikely to be the success Google must be hoping for.
Matt predicts the danger of pump rage being caused by sitting around while the guy in front of you tries to locate a landmark, and he also points out that leaving the choice of landmarks on the map up to the gas station owner may result in some rather useless data.
I’d like to add to this that the last thing I want is more buttons to push on the gas station pump. I mean, ewwww, it’s yucky enough touching the pump, let alone the transactional buttons. I’m not at all keen on the idea of using a pump, covered with carcinogenic chemicals, as a computer, thank you very much.
My husband doesn’t much like asking directions from people. I’m usually the one trying to understand the expressive gestures of the gas station attendant. This is how we often end up in wonderful, surprise locations. I think I’d like to keep it that way. We use enough hand sanitizer as it is after filling up the tank. We’ll have to start carrying a small sink around with us if we’re going to be fiddling with greasy, gasoline-coated buttons for minutes at a time. Yuck.
Cleanliness aside, I really do see traffic flow being the main issue with this concept. Just today, I was at the local grocery store thinking about this subject. Some company installed some fancy terminal in the supplements department. It looks kind of like an old arcade machine, but it’s supposed to answer health questions for you. For some reason, the terminal was placed right next to this small store’s checkout line. Anyone wanting to use it would have to stand in the middle of the line while people tried to squeeze around them to pay for their groceries. After a few, “excuse me, pardon me, excuse me, pardon me’s”, this would get cumbersome. I’ve never yet seen anyone using the machine.
Gas stations aren’t most people’s idea of a place they want to spend more time. The need for speedy transactions is obvious. Combining this with looking at maps, when you consider how lost some people seem to get the minute they even open a map, is kind of a silly idea. What do you all think about this?