Monday, May 19, 2008

New Rivals for Google Maps Street View

Whilst Google are forced to consider how they can comply with different privacy laws around the world before they expand Street View coverage outside the USA, two more companies have emerged that are providing 'Street View' type coverage for countries Google presently cannot reach.

EveryScape

EveryScape provides 'street view' type coverage for a number of US destinations but also currently has panoramic imagery available for Beijing, China and Krackow, Poland.

Everyscape presents their panoramic images alongside a Google Map. Like Google Maps' Street View it is possible to walk around by clicking on arrows on the image or navigate to different views via the map.

EveryScape contains two big improvements on Google Maps' Street View. The first is the amazing morphing between the different panoramic images. The second is that they have tagged their panoramas with Flickr photos, Yelp reviews and YouTube videos. Users can even tag the views with their own 'memo's'. Once you have tagged a panoramic image you are given your own url, so you can then share your annotations with your friends.

EveryScape has big plans and are looking for 'ambassadors' throughout the world to start creating new panoramas. I expect their coverage will be spreading to other countries very soon.

City8

City8 is a Chinese company providing 'Street View' type panoramas for a number of Chinese locations. Like EveryScape they present 360 degree panoramic images next to a map. It is possible to move around and between different images by clicking on arrows with the images or to navigate to different views using the map.

There is a full screen button, which unlike Google's Street View, actually takes over your monitor's full screen. Links to interesting places are given below the panoramic image so it is possible to quickly navigate to local points of interest.

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