This is a simple but handy tip while using Google Maps in a browser or on an iPhone. Here’s the scenario: I’m in NYC attending a conference near Grand Central Terminal. Needing a coffee fix, I whip out my iPhone, use the locator button to find my rough location, and type ‘coffee’ into the search bar. Nine of the ten results were Starbucks. What if I didn’t want Starbucks? Gasp!
Starbucks is okay as a last resort, but I much prefer trying out the offerings of small, local coffee shops when I can. I was saddened to find the results of the search for ‘coffee’ return mostly Starbucks. The one result that was different was a little out of the way for my city weary feet.
Then it dawned on me that this was essentially a Google search and thought to try a Google-like search term that would filter out Starbucks:
The result was ten non-Starbucks coffee shops within the same search area.
This technique can be used for finding things other than brewed beverages: just start with a general search term and add one or more specific items to filter, each preceeded by a minus (dash) and no space between the minus and the term.
Bonus tip: To get the list of search results instead of seeing the pins drop, tap the eye icon in the lower right of the iPhone maps screen and select list, then clicking back on maps to toggle back and forth.