5 Cool and unexpected uses of Google Street View

Google Street View, a collection of 360° panoramic maps that cover hundreds of cities around the world, have transformed online maps from flat graphics to interactive experiences. Like other web technologies, web developers have taken advantage of the open platform to add and shape the maps into new and clever uses, some of which are featured below.

1. Provide an interactive guide to your neighborhood

Showstreet, an interactive guide to the shops of New Zealand, combines both street-level photography with annotations that when clicked, provide the name of the store and other information such as a brief description, address, and website.

Instead of giving your friends text directions to a particular location and letting them explore Google Street View for themselves, you can now use Simple Guide Tool to show them exactly where you want them to go. Using the tool is easy: just select a location on the map and invite your friend to a live chat room where you can guide them to their destination.

Did you know you can also use Street View to explore SeaWorld and Legoland, two amusement parks in San Diego, California?

2. Combine the images into a cool video

The following videos were created by capturing screenshots of various locations in Street View and placing them in sequence to create the appearance of motion. The process is painstaking, but the results are very cool.

Banshee Beat

Google Street View Guys

Editors, “In This Light and on This Evening”

3. Add your own design

It’s not quite clear what CNA, a network of language schools, is promoting — only that the interactive map they’ve created based on Street View technology is mesmerizing. The site overlays an image of a tourist holding a list of New York city landmarks on a Street View map. When any of the locations are clicked, the map changes to that location within Street View.

4. Spot local crimes

Case in point: 25 Google Street View prostitutes

Creating interactive experiences using Google Street View takes some experience with HTML and JavaScript and a little bit of ingenuity. You can find the official guide to the Google Maps API here and an easy to read guide to its capabilities here.

Hat tip to Google Maps Mania for many of the links. Check out the site for more innovative map mashups.

Also on 10,000 Words:

5 Ways to take your map mashups to the next level
Where to find the best online interactive maps
7 Unique and innovative maps
10 Mind-blowing maps (and 3 ways to create them)