You know what a great map idea is? To go out and take photos of lots of different buildings and tie them to a mapping service so that people looking for directions will also get visual cues so they know they are on the right track an better yet will recognize their final destinations. A9 recently unveiled such a mapping service and it is awesome!
You can go to an address or pan a magnifying glass over a map and the images pop up on the right hand side of the screen. They then start to pan, giving you a full view of both sides of the street – a full 360 degree view.
I already envision people being upset that they are in these photos and the lawsuits that may follow.
Some Views of 46th Street in Manhattan
A9 is a division of Amazon.com that does search. It has a small fraction of the search market and looks for ways to differentiate its service as opposed to hitting Google and Yahoo head on.
The service currently only has photos of some of the larger cities at the moment which may limit its usefulness. I will definitely try the service out the next time I need to get directions to
You may also want to check out Microsoft’s Virtual Earth service if mapping interests you.