A short but sweet post on the coolness that is GoogleStreet View – after spending the last 30 minutes looking up pointless address’ I’m hooked and awaiting them to come to the countryside and feature Hungerford so I too can see a photo of my house (why I need that I dont know but it seems exciting!)
Currently limited to Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Coventry, Derby, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Scunthorpe, Sheffield, Southampton, Swansea and York. It lets you see a 360′ panaromaic view of your street address and is very very cool! Check out their instructions and give it a play – The San Francisco one is particularly cool.
More sights spotted by the Google Street View crew HERE
*Update* Just found the latest stats on its traffic since the launch showing a 41% increase:
Team that with the stats
The average visit time for Google Maps yesterday was 7 minutes 6 seconds, up from 5 minutes 28 seconds the day before.
and its appeal as a tool is evident.
That said these stats only show the immediate increase after a week of press releases, tech coverage, blogging, tweeting, privacy issues and WOM that have given Google Maps street view rapid adoption / awareness. As such a big brand (or as some would argue the biggest brand) to provide web tools its obvious that many users will test this out, have a look and spend 5 – 10 minutes checking out address’. The more interesting stats for this will be how users use this novelty feature over time in the online space and how (not if!)they evolve this into their sat-nav features on both the phone and in car.
I’m due to go on holiday in 8 days time – judging by the news, the foreign office and my Mum I wont be going.
I was due to head off to Mumbai for 3 weeks of travelling, spending some time in the city before heading to the beaches of the South, the plantations in the middle and then heading out through Chennai. It’s now back to the drawing board and with a travel claim for cancellation in progress, 1 eye on the news, and the other on the laptop I start to formulate Plan B.
With the disruption in Thailand (2nd choice), Strength of the $$ (Hawaii and US) and a previous 3 month trip to Mexico – Sri Lanka came up next in line. From here, being internet saavy, relatively good at searching and narrowing down prospects I suddenly realised how much power Google and it’s algorhythm suddenly has. Typing in for accomodation the normal suspects come out – Opodo, Expedia, Trip Adviser… All great sites but none of which help me get off the beaten path. Repeated variants and getting to page 3 and 4 of Google I start to see some sites and immediately the power of the affiliate travel sites become apparent after the 20th travel content syndicate pops up with the same descriptions, same prices and same content…
It makes you wonder if the internet was stripped of Google (and business parallell attempts to stay top of the pack) would the internets landscape be better or worse… Likewise if all the duplicate content was removed would the web be an easier place to navigate for consumers? If the collective is so powerful why do we continue to happily browse the same pages time and time again, just in different colours. You wouldn’t wander into 20 travel agents so why do we happily browse 20 online stores? Is fun browsing actually compilcated navigation, duplicated content and “stuff thats hard to find” in disguise?
That I cannot solve (but for my next project could have fun investigating) – meanwhile Sri Lanka accomodation ideas on a postcard….