Badly Off in All Directions: Geo-Placement of Small Enterprises by Web-Based Business Directories

James E. Wyse
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 8, Number 4, Summer 2004, pp. 145.

Abstract: Many small enterprises must base their operations at specific geographical locations. Transactions between “location-dependent” enterprises and their customers often rely on the availability and quality of information on enterprise location. Many Web­-based business directories have recently integrated their listings with digital map servers in order to provide directory users with location information that “geo-places” directory-listed enterprises. This development has the potential to provide improved transactional support to location-dependent small enterprises and their customers. An exploratory study assessed the availability and quality of location information provided by four Web-based, map-enabled business directories for a group of 111 location-dependent, small Canadian enterprises. Results suggest that inaccurate directory-provided location information may jeopardize transactions by misplacing enterprises and misdirecting customers.

Key Words and Phrases: Business directories, directory-reported enterprise location, enterprise geo-placement, location information, small enterprises, Web-based business directories.