Whatsopen.com: Google’s mobile local search effort?

whatsopengoogle.pngWhatsopen is an unlaunched web and mobile local search engine — and a secret testing ground for Google’s new search offerings, a source tells us.

From screenshots we’ve been shown off-the-record, the site offers a way to search for nearby stores and their hours of operation from your phone.

Whatsopen is doing invite-only alpha testing in the US and China and will launch in late 2007, a note on the site says.

Our source says Google has been interested in purchasing the company and its search technology, and may have already purchased it and started using it as a testing ground.

We have not been able to verify any of this information with the company. Google declined to comment.

Valleywag has screenshots here (including the one, above) — obtained from a different source, our source claims.