New World Tech: Google Road Trip Hack Uses Street View & Map API to Create Animated Travel Experience
Google Road Trip is a very cool mash-up created by Georgia Tech student Azhar Bande-Ali which combines Google Street View photos with Google Maps to create a kind of animated, virtual travel experience. Azhar made it during Yahoo's Hackathon in 2009, but I just read about it in a Reddit thread, and liked it so much, I got in touch with Azhar for more details:
"The objective of the hack was to show that we may have a lot of data but it has to be implemented in a useful manner," he told me. "Directions specifically are things that can be improved significantly. Small example: Imagine how easy directions would be if your navigation system directed you to take a left right after passing the Shell gas station instead of saying 'turn left in 60 feet'. That's not impossible to do and would be very convenient for users."
Check it out here, it's a lot of fun. (Above is a screencapture of a trip I made from Linden Lab's first office on Linden street to its latest location on Battery.) Azhar told me he hasn't been approached by venture funders to build this into a business, which is surprising; I imagine this would be a hugely useful iOS/Android app, or even something worth putting on a car's dashboard direction finder.