We’ve been seeing a number of attempts at local city-wide listings recently, but Yello.pk adds a couple of new twists to the idea, although I’m not convinced its entirely useful just yet.
Yello provides a Google Map mashup with local news and business listings from the area – it will show a satellite map of your city, and if you search for something (e.g. "pizza") the service will show you map locations for all nearby pizza parlors, including details on demand. Think of it as what you would used Google Local Search for, but with more details.
In addition to that, they provide local geo-coded news reports, very similar to the old AllVoices.com interface (before they took out the map) – basically you get a map at the top, and news reports from that visible region below. Unfortunately currently the news on there too broad to have local relevance.
However, some of its features have great potential, particularly its social elements. Zoom into the map and going to the "neighborhood" section will have Yello find all other yello members who live closeby to you – and this I think is an awesome way of discovering new friends nearby. You can also browser their profiles and see their chosen restaurants, shared news items or businesses or classified listings, which would be an interesting vector to see if you would get along with someone.
Their classifieds section (also again with map-based locations across the city) also has potential, especially for real-estate, where it would be atleast possible to research the area (including nearby people / potential friends / businesses / restaurants all through yello) before making contact.
But the trouble is that all of this would become incredibly useful only if a detailed street-map was available / enabled rather than having all of this happen through a satellite view. Ultimately, having dots on a satellite view doesn’t help me at all to understand where a certain restaurant is.
This comes back to the fundamental challenge of location-based services – the maps just dont exist on google or elsewhere in any open format to let services reach their true potential.