A9 Street Photography

Amazon is taking a novel approach to search engine competition. Instead of trying to make a better website search than Google (which is near perfect already), they seem to be thinking up things to search. Books were an obvious place to start, but their new yellow pages search has a very cool option to search photographs of entire city streets. You can “walk” up or down the street and see how it looked last time the A9 truck drove by (which, in the case of Boston was during the summer).
Because the camera on the truck stays parallel to the angle of the street, you can get a view of San Francisco as though the entire city was stretched flat. Take a ride on San Francisco’s #24 bus up Divisidero to see what I’m talking about.
It’ll be interesting to see Google’s response to this. They no doubt have been planning something similar. (They did buy KeyHole after all.) I’d like to see software that integrates satellite images, aerial photographs, and street level photographs into one system. Then I’d like to see all those images mapped into some sort of video game where you fly around and shoot stuff. Let’s be honest, this stuff is more about entertainment than function.