Two new breathtaking Google Map products

Programmable Web and Joel at Inman News among others point out the launch of two new Google Map products:

Google Mapplets are essentially widgets that can be applied to maps... they make real estate map browsing an interactive experience. Here is an example of a Mapplet "mashup" and a Google-prepared video on how Mapplets work. I can envision Trulia or Zillow developing a Mapplets platform (can Google restrict this?) in the same way Facebook has opened up their platform to widgets. Google has already compiled a library of mapplets.

The features I discussed on an earlier post Broker Websites of the Future (like the multiple agent chatboxes on an IDX map) can potentially be accomplished with new Mapplets.

Google Maps also unveiled Street View (search inside San Francisco to get a Street View)  - here's a picture of my house that Street View documented (astonishing in the detail as you zoom up - you can almost make out license plate #s)...

Taking panoramas of San Francisco streets is an ambitious, otherworldly Google-like project (like manually photocopying library archives). I imagine the creative evolutionary possibilities with Street Views... it's a parlor game!:

  • Second Life meets real terrain - Virtual replication of cities is here... it's a Holy Grail kind of application of the Virtual Worlds set. Imagine SL avatars strolling San Francisco (mmm.... still in 2D)  chatting and meeting up at their favorite neighborhood hangouts... in the virtual/real world, you'll not only know the cultures of the neighborhoods you visit (like the Castro), but you may possibly run into a real neighbor as avatar.
  • Mapplets/widgets attachable to specific properties for sale displayed in Street Views
    • Open house mapplets that direct users to the house listing when clicked
    • Chat or phone widgets that users can click to contact the listing agent for more information
    • Neighborhood data widgets that characterize the neighborhood
    • Crime data mapplets to ensure that no crack houses are next door
    • Zillow widgets that show Zestimate data as the user "drives by"
  • Commercial and civic applications
    • City council, Board of Education meetings are easy to virtually attend just by dragging your avatar to City Hall and clicking on the widget at City Hall that is video streaming the meeting
    • Avatars can meet at any location with scheduled meetings - just place a widget at the meeting spot to direct participants to the appropriate online venue.
  • Local advertising mapplets
    • Restaurant menu widgets mashed up with Yelp and Zagat reviews
    • Special sale flyers as widgets that enable online transactions and delivery (great for supermarkets)
    • Coupon click opportunities to draw in "walk by traffic" looking for deals
  • GPS enabled mapplets for delivery, distribution and transportation
    • Mapplet-ize buses so you know when the next one is coming
    • Mapplet-ize pizza and food delivery so you know when to prepare for dinner
  • Street games
    • Scavenger hunts
    • Friend finder games that identify persons of interest within avatar vicinity based on personal tagging (SWF, dog lover, stamp collector, child attends Alvarado School, etc.)

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  • 5/31/2007 5:56 AM Reggie wrote:
    Hey Pat - It seems since Tuesday street-level mapping has been all the talk with Real Estate agents. However Did you know this technology is nothing new. AOL and Microsoft have been working on similar technologies over the last year. Unfortunately Amazon’s A9 Mapping is no longer available. If you would like to preview Microsoft’s Street-Level photos click">"click here.
    Reply to this
    1. 5/31/2007 2:25 PM Pat Kitano wrote:
      Good point Reggie... The MS Live for San Francisco is a jumpy upload

      Reply to this

  • 5/31/2007 7:03 AM Teresa Boardman wrote:
    I love all the maps, mash -ups and widgets but am becoming more concerned about privacy. Google seems to know so much us where we live and everything. Soon there will be no place to hide. This must make life easier for terrorists and eventually as the pictures improve it should help pedophiles as well. - - oh yes and of course home buyers too.
    Reply to this
    1. 6/4/2007 12:50 PM Pat Kitano wrote:
      I like it when you put pedophiles and home buyers in the same sentence!

      Reply to this

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