Saturday, December 01, 2012

See the World with Street View Mashups

The internet is always creating new ways for searchers to explore it: encyclopedic websites such Wikipedia, how-to websites such as eHow.com, and so on. We even have the advantage to befriend people from around the world with sites such as Facebook.

The internet just got more interesting with a new creation: street view mashups.


What Are Street View Mashups?


With street view mashups you can view an area without actually being there. This is beneficial in three ways:
  1. You don’t have to spend money to travel. Simply get online and with one of the street view mashups, travel the world at your own pace.
  2. If you’re planning to visit a city or town, you can view it prior to your actual visit. This is good because you can immediately learn which areas to avoid.
  3. If you’re looking for a business, then you don’t have to stumble anymore to find it. For example, let’s say you’re new to Wanganui and haven’t familiarize the entire town yet. If you’re searching for a particular address in Wanganui, then the street view mashups can help you locate it before leaving your house. This is just as good as a GPS – yet at a cheaper price!
  4. Unlike Google Maps, which blurs out anything beyond the streets, you can see people’s faces, and what they’re doing. Some of the street view mashups even show you Tweets from the area. It’s a different viewing experience.

Five Street View Mashups Worth Exploring the Globe With

Now that you know the value of using street view mashups, here are five that are worth using:
  1. The Beat This is a project created by the Social Media Information Lab at the School of Communications and Information at Rutgers University. This site combines Instagram pictures and Google Street View locations to help its users explore various areas and topics. Let’s take Wanganui for example again. If you type in "Wanganui" then you’ll see pictures that were taken in the area alongside street views of Wanganui – both courtesy of Instagram and Google Street View.
  2. Instant Google Street View: Something totally amazingly different occurs as you type a street address into the website’s address bar; making its name –instant – quite appropriate. As you type, pictures of various global locations with similar addresses show up on the screen.
  3. MapCrunch: With this mashup, you can explore 40 countries randomly. These spectacular sceneries are provided by Google Street View. You just simply choose a country shown on MapCrunch’s menu, and click the green "go" button.
  4. Show My Street: This is another mashup associated with Google Street View. In fact, it works like Instant Google Street View, including displaying a map in the corner of the screen.
    The only difference between the two is that Show My Street only has a satellite map while Instant Google Street View has a satellite and street map.
  5. Geosay: This mashup website brings people’s comments and maps together. What it does is show what people near the area are saying on Twitter, Wikipedia and Foursquare about the location. It also uses satellite and street maps.
So if you’re looking to find your way around, it just got easier with these street view mashups.
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