Flash guru Michael Battle has created a 3D version of Digg. You can zoom around all the popular stories on Digg's technology page using your mouse and scroll wheel. It's not exactly the most useful interface, but it's a ton of fun and it's very slick. If you get lost, just refresh your browser. There's also a complete list of advanced navigation instructions here.
TagMaps is an exploratory mashup/science project from Yahoo Research Berkeley that mixes Yahoo Maps with Flickr's geo-tagging features to create a neat-looking photo browser. Locations show up on the map as large tags, and mousing over one will populate the corresponding Flickr photos to the right. Clicking any of these photos will give you the title and photographer information, along with the option to visit the photo page on Flickr.
Google has released new rich 3D imagery for Google Earth 4, its interactive mapping application, which is officially out of beta.
In place of the usual map lines, satellite imagery and raised boxes, are rich textured 3D models of famous places.
Those that are complete are easy to spot, especially with Google Earth's new navigation compass that makes directional rotations and angle views easier to manipulate. Even a monolith such as the Met Life building in New York City has enough details to make it identifiable even without its famous label.
Facades of glass, bricks and stone abound, but … Read more
When I read about "hyperlocal" blog directory Placeblogger on BoingBoing, I immediately thought of "ZipUSA," the feature in National Geographic magazine that presents a slice-of-life mini photo essay of the goings-on in a given U.S. zip code. I envisioned Placeblogger as a sort of ZipUSA directory, the kind of site where I could click around and get immersed in small-town gossip from a West Virginia blogger, urban-planning politics from Austin, or cross-cultural reflections from an expat in Singapore. Basically, I was looking forward to adding it to my extensive list of recommended procrastination tools.
But … Read more
Unlike the many mashups that use the Google API to aggregate news, 10x10 uses the RSS feeds from the BBC World Edition, New York Times International News and Reuters World News to create a visual mashup of the world's most popular news.
About every hour, the top 100 words from those feeds are chosen through 10x10's own linguistic analysis. Corresponding images for those words, used editorially from the news sites' own stories, are then displayed.
The images are listed from left to right and top to bottom in order of importance. (The No. 1 keyword is the upper-left … Read more
In response to the Webware Challenge to make cell phones into better lifelines, many (hundreds) of people added comments and wrote to me personally to say the main solution to finding people who are lost or stranded should be better cellular phone coverage, cell phones with emergency satellite radios, or dedicated emergency locator beacons. I support all of these ideas, but as I said in a previous post, I still think we could use a "fail-safe" notification system that alerts friends, families, or authorities when a person goes missing. If a person is unable to make a call … Read more
The San Francisco New Tech Meetup met at our offices Wednesday. Presentations were given by four interesting companies:
Vizu's new Answers service lets anyone create a market research poll, which is distributed to various sites and blogs that have an audience of visitors the researcher wants to poll. It looks like a really fast way to get basic product research done. It's not free: You pay to distribute your poll to the sites in the network that have agreed to run polls; they, in turn, make money for running your research. In other words, it's much like … Read more
There have been a few dozen good responses to the post I wrote about new technologies or services that could help find people who get into trouble while traveling. See A Webware challenge: Make cell phones better lifelines.
It begins with notification. You don't send out rescue parties until you know someone is lost, and my initial proposal simply allows the alarm to be raised earlier. Several people rightly commented that it would be difficult to create a "flight plan" system that people would actually use. But I will not dismiss this idea just yet; some of … Read more
Shortly after we got the crushing news of James Kim's death, I received an e-mail from a human resources person here at CNET. She wrote, "I would love to see a Web site dedicated to the safety of employees. Employees should be able to submit their travel routes and whereabouts. Whether it's on a road trip or visiting an apartment listed on Craigslist, providing information on where employees are and the related circumstances may be extremely helpful in the event that an emergency or dangerous situation occurs."
I forwarded this idea to several people who run … Read more
Ask.com has released a new way to find all things local. While that may not sound exciting, once you try out AskCity, you will be hooked on this quick and easy super-directory that requires no prior knowledge of what you seek.
AskCity allows users to search for things like restaurants and services within a chosen area. An intuitive and simple interface integrates maps, address information, directions and sharing features, while eliminating many annoying steps. Unlike other directories, AskCity does not require that you even remember the name of that town with the Thai place near that movie theater that … Read more