the curious new ecosystem forming at the interstices of mapping portals, GIS systems, ubiquitous GPS devices, open source, and the Web 2.0.
Several interesting announcements were made there yesterday. Amazon announced a new visual Yellow Pages interface. I did a search for coffee shops in my neighborhood in Portland and easily found several. Many had an image of the business associated with the listing. Following the link to the business you'll get a larger image of the business along with phone and address information. Above the business image are a set of arrows which allow you to visually stroll up and down the street. Great for checking out parking restrictions near the business. It's not as slick as the Google Maps interface where you just drag your mouse to slide the image, but can't imagine they aren't working on this too.
Speaking of Google Maps, yesterday they announced an API (Application Programming Interface) that allows developers the hooks they need to utilize Google Maps for making other web applications. Examples include ChicagoCrime.org which maps criminal activity using data from the Chicago Police Department and Housingmaps.com which takes housing listings from Craigslist and combines it with Google Maps. Now that there is an official API from Google we should be able to see some smart uses in education such as bus route maps and safe routes to schools and such.
More Where 2.0 conference coverage can be found on the O'Reilly Radar weblog...