Yahoo has just added a simple, innovative “search circle” tool to their Local Maps, which help you quickly narrow down the geographic area that you’re searching.
If you click on “expand map” after a search, you’ll see a blue circle appear on the map. The results are only shown for locations within that circle. You can resize and move the circle wherever you want, and the results are updated as you move.
As you resize the circle, the radius is constantly updated (in miles), and the map will automatically pan if you hit the edge. It’s a neat tool.
More information and additional screenshots can be found on the Yahoo Local & Maps Blog.