In the old days, to figure out if your house, apartment, or place of work was good for walking, you'd have to go scout it out, or ask someone who knew the area. These days we have services such as Walk Score, a mashup that helps calculate how "walkable" an address is based on the services that surround it. It works by tallying up the distances to the surrounding attractions, and pulls them together in an average, which it gives you in a handy scale of 1 to 100. The higher the score, the more walk-friendly the … Read more
If you have a taste for adventure and exploring the places you visit, check out this iPhone app that helps you find cool stuff in your area. Though the front page asks for a registration, you can click the "Try it now!" link to get a feel for Earthcomber. Simply enter your ZIP code or any city and Earthcomber finds all the cool stuff in that area, like parks, bars, live events, museums, restaurants, and tons of other stuff. With this app on your iPhone, you'll never say "there's nothing to do" ever again. … Read more
Google has acquired ImageAmerica, a company that builds high-resolution cameras and uses them to take aerial photographs.
The search engine giant announced the move Friday on its LatLong blog about Google Earth and its other mapping efforts. It didn't disclose terms of the deal.
"We're excited about how ImageAmerica's technology will contribute to our mapping services down the road," Product Manager Stephen Chau said on the blog. "Since we're in the research and development phase right now it may be some time before you see any of this imagery in Google Maps or … Read more
Google Earth users now have a really neat layer to play with, straight from the folks at NASA. It comes in the form of new astronaut photography, satellite imagery, and a mode called "Earth City Lights," which shows the entire globe at night. The real standout, however, is the selection of shots from space. Many of these were taken at interesting times on the Earth's landscape like volcanic eruptions, massive forest fires, dust storms, or the unusually thick ice on Lake Michigan during the winter of 2003. Each shot can be blown up and comes with a … Read more
Zillow (previous coverage), a site for home buyers, sellers, and lookie-loos, is getting a broader focus today: on neighborhoods, not just houses. As such, it could become a resource for people neither selling or buying, but rather just living.
Neighborhoods now have their own pages, which include demographic info (I'm surrounded by lawyers who ride motorcycles, apparently) listings of homes for sale, and community features. There are discussion boards and neighbor directories, which could, theoretically, make Zillow a useful resource for people who live there. I'd find it useful, for example, if there was an active discussion board … Read more
MakeMeSustainable is a new green social networking site. Although entering a crowded field, the service wisely translates how greening your everyday habits saves money. It tallies dollar signs, trees, and carbon emissions to track changes in your usage of electricity, heating, transportation, and travel over many months. I like that it takes you directly to sites where you can achieve a goal instantly, such as by buying CFL bulbs or carbon credits, or downloading a power-saving app for your PC. And you can form and join groups based around your interests.
MakeMeSustainable builds a personal profile based upon your quick … Read more
There's really no better way to see how well you'll get coverage with a phone until you get your hands on it. This usually requires a purchase, or a friend or neighbor who has got the phone and service you're interested in. The next best thing is checking your carrier's site to see if it has a coverage map (here are links to AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint). A third option is SignalMap, a user-generated service that lets people search for and review cellular phone coverage by location.
It's about as simple as … Read more
Though the audience might be small for this particular iPhone app, the product would definitely come in handy if you're a pilot. MyMetar lets pilots instantly view weather information for their current flight path.
iPhone link: http://www.mymetar.com/doublehoya?theme=iphone
Web site link: http://www.mymetar.com/iphone/
GopherNow is a simple mashup--mix maps with store hours to help people find eating establishments that are open or delivering late. The service is aimed mainly at teenagers and college students, but for many, the long days of summer can bring unexpected late eating.
Users can search by keyword and location, and a Google map will show up with various restaurants, listing their hours, delivery availability, and for a select few--complete menus. If a restaurant is missing, users can add it in, along with their personal review.
Google has been pretty busy in the past few days. There have been changes or tweaks to three of Google's product offerings, as well as the unexpected resurgence of one product that many thought would never return. We've broken the news down for you below.
1. Google Answers is back--in Russia. I guess Google figures Russia to be an inquisitive bunch, since it's re-launched its defunct (read: dead) Answers service there. According to a post from Google Russia's blog, it's the first country to get the service, despite the fact that the previous version was … Read more