Ancestry.com has posted a new search page: http://search.ancestry.com/search/
The search itself does not seem to have changed. I still get some strange results, including names or locales that seem unrelated to the search I entered.
What interests me, however, is that the map at the bottom of this search page leads to a lot of location-specific data. Ancestry, in a blog entry entitled “Browse the Place Pages,” claims that they have created thousands of place pages. As you would expect, these pages include categorized links to record collections that relate to the place (such as Census and Voter Lists, Vital Records, Military Records). But they also contain links to maps, atlases, and gazetteers; references, dictionaries, and almanacs; and stories, memories, and histories.
The pages also let you focus your navigation on particular localites, such as counties within a state, and some of these have their own place pages.
The tabs “History” and “Resources” provide historical information about the locale and resources for researching in this area. While I will not likely stop using Wikipedia for place information when I research (see the Virginia page at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia), this is often a genealogically specific set of information that will help while I’m researching at Ancestry, and elsewhere. I welcome this new locale data.