I noticed something today that I’ve never noticed before. I’m not sure if it’s that my home town just got access to it, or if it’s something that Google Inc recently let us have access to, but either way, it’s damn handy.
We’ve all seen street view before, and we’ve probably used it whenever possible. Today, I used it in a way that it’s meant to be used, and I have to say, it makes me love the Maps app on my iPhone just a little bit more.
I took a quick trip to pick up some Macgasm stickers from a print shop that I’ve never actually been to before, in a part of town that I might visit once ever year or so, and I was a little worried that I’d get lost. Google Maps lets me know when I’m in the right area, but if doesn’t exactly direct you to a parking lot for the store. A picture would go a long way in letting me know just what this place looked like. Much to my delight, the address had a weird avatar icon on the push pin for the location. Having never seen it before, I clicked, and next thing I knew I was looking at the store front. Blew my mind. I started showing it to everyone in the room, and I even busted out a “can your GPS do that?”
Then it got even better. I accidentally swiped the screen while showing it off, and next thing I knew I was moving down the street. You can get a 360 degree view of that point on the map, that you can follow on down the street. Apparently, at some point in the relative past, Google decided to give iPhone users access to Street View, and I had no idea that it was there. This changes everything.
This is why I love technology. Technology companies are constantly evolving and making things better, and this is a huge step in the right direction for map applications. It certainly makes that AT&T GPS application look like a Rand McNally map. It going to be hard going back to another application now that I can see a real shot of where I’m going. If I could get that in a live view, I’d be in heaven.