It can be hard to find a needle in YouTube's vast video haystack, despite the fact that the site is owned by search expert Google.
But YouTube is apparently trying to take a page from its parent company by improving its search features, a little bit at a time. YouTube product manager Brian Glick said Thursday that the company plans to broadly add geographic search to the site so that people can find video clips tagged with specific locations, according to a report from the blog NewTeeVee.
The company is already testing the geographic search feature by including a thumbnail of Google Maps in a search for a specific location, e.g. "San Francisco green events," along with related videos from the area. In a nice touch, people can also move the location dot on a Google Map to see new related videos in that area.
More than a year ago, YouTube began allowing people who uploaded videos to tag clips with a location. But the company had yet to offer the ability to search videos by geography. Meanwhile, Google Earth had started giving people links to location-specific videos in a YouTube layer it offered last October.
For its part, Google provides geographic search by detecting the user's IP address--which can be associated with physical location--along with geographic data it picks up from a Web page. It also takes straightforward location data typed into the search box to match with related location information from Web pages.
A request for comment from YouTube was not immediately returned.
YouTube executives have previously acknowledged that video search isn't easy.
"The challenge in the future of video is how to find video...and maintaining that sense of discovery," Jordan Hoffner, head of content partnerships at YouTube, said while speaking on a media panel in April. "Sharing and tagging video is a start."