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Geography is about maps, soon about WAPs

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A self-confessed ugly Web site has launched to help Brits find their evening pint and curry anywhere in the country. The somewherenear.com site will locate your nearest public house, B&B or Indian restaurant online. Punters simply click on an area of a map of the country, say what kind of establishment they want, and up come the site's top recommendations.

The venture's owner, Bradford-based GBdirect, says: "The site is ugly... and it's supposed to be." "When we're designing our sites, we don't care what they look like. We try to build them on function," said Dave Fisher, head of business development at GBdirect. "While they're not designed to really put you off, we don't spend much time making them look pretty," said Fisher, who added that their design made them faster.

The Register managed to pinpoint one of its own watering holes, The Windmill in Mayfair, within minutes and did not find the experience offensive to the eye. Listed was a map of the area, the pub's address and phone number, plus a voting system for users to give scores on aspects, including its ale, food, music and conversation.

The site, launched last week, asks surfers to add their own favourite places to its database. The company also plans to include information on local government, or where to find your nearest late-night chemist, GP or rubbish tip. "It's aimed at people on the move, such as those travelling on business or students moving to a new location," said Fisher. There are also plans to make the site WAP-enabled. ®

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