Sunday, February 12, 2006

A9 Maps adds BlockViews

[Update: Amazon decided to drop maps from A9]

The beta version of A9 Maps (Amazon owns A9) is being now offered covering a few American cities. The novelty to other related services is the addition of photos from the streets your are looking at on its maps. Data is provided by MapQuest.

According to PCMagazine:

"A9 [...] employs SUVs equipped with mounted digital cameras and GPS equipment to record street images and document the location where they are taken".
Check for example this map of Powell Street in San Francisco.

Look under Mapping Software for other reviews by PCMag on Local Maps from Yahoo, Google and Microsoft.

Locate Me and let everyone know

Speaking of the devil, Live Local can locate your current position after you install an ActiveX control for your browser. [Correcting original post] According to a BoingBoing article that discusses the more than obvious privacy issues, this control is similar to the "Location Finder" developed by the PlaceLab project "which listens for the MAC address and compares it to a client cache of locations of known base stations".

The idea is that if your machine has WiFi it can use it to find your current position. Somehow after reading the article I decided not to install it.


zmarties said...

You have misread the Boing Boing article - it does not say that LiveLocal uses PlaceLab code - merely that it is PlaceLab like in its abilities.

PlaceLab code is under the GPL - a licence that Microsoft tends to stay well away from.

gpsguy said...

Thanks for pointing that out zmarties, just fixed the post.