Scott Hanselman

Google Earth is Shiny, but so is Amazon Streets

June 29, 2005 Comment on this post [5] Posted in Javascript
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AmazonstreetsSure, Google Earth is cool. I paid them their $20 and the new 15m imagery is slick. I can see how a savvy real estate agent would dig it.

But have you seen Amazon Yellow Pages? Google is driving all over the country using lasers to figure out how to make 3D images of buildings (not sure why that's useful) but Amazon is driving around taking pictures out of the windows of a GPS-enabled Red Truck. No 3D, nothing fancy, just JavaScript and a LOT of pictures.

Here's Amazon's view of the Benson Hotel in Portland. Make sure you click on the "Walk up and Down the Street" buttons. Weird eh? They even have a "click to call" link where they will broker a call to you, because dialing the phone yourself would just be too hard.

There be some interesting stuff going on. Next step, Virtual Earth.

Now playing: Kanye West - Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Edited)

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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June 29, 2005 5:37
In Tokyo(apparently/according to my coworker) they give you maps that show the profiles of buildings so you can navigate.
something to do with the numbers or companies changing too much but the skyline not so much.

maybe thats googles idea of a 3d view of a city - better perspective of where you're going.

Amazons version is WAY cool though. when they took the pictures of our office not many of us were there! I can make out one coworkers car, but not mine!
June 29, 2005 6:53
The difference is amazon's interface is horrible. They have unrelated crap cluttering up the screen, something google is very careful about. I was immediately turned off by amazon's example.
June 29, 2005 7:15
+1. Google maps is an execellent example of good ui.
they just need to 'borrow' amazons photos for a drive-by view of a trip.
I'm hoping we'll see some consolidation here, I don't need to be using google for the map and amazon to see what I'll be looking at when I get there.
June 29, 2005 15:05
"Click to Call" is not to make it easier. It's so amazon can get paid.
June 30, 2005 20:03
Now, if you could just transpose those images into a good game like Asheron's Call 2 or even Quake...think of the fun!! Virtual Reality has a completely new spin.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.