The local information tool is integrated across Google products: Search, Maps, and Mobile. It's integrated into Google+ as a new tab, and you can take it with you on the go with Google Maps for mobile on Android, and soon on iOS platform.
Local businesses can avail themselves of the new tool through Google Places for Business, whereby they can manage their business listing information . Google promises to make it even easier for business owners to manage their listing and take full advantage of the social features provided by local Google+ Pages.
According to the official Google blog, "the goal is to help people find the best resources on the web", against criticism from Consumer Advocacy Groups that the service eliminates competition.
However, given the case in point that the service incorporates other related sites and places, may perhaps means improvement in the ways local information are harnessed and used on the web.