Amazon presents maps with block images

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We've all marveled over the detailed satellite photos available with Google Maps, but wouldn't it be even more useful to be able to see a street the way you'd see it from the ground?

Amazon thinks so. Via King of Fools, we learn Amazon's beta version of A9 maps is online, and for select cities and streets, you can view street level images of both sides of the street. For example, here's the 1400 block of SW 8th Street in Miami, aka Calle Ocho, the heart of Little Havana. (I'll explain why I picked that spot in another entry.)

One of the King's commenters couldn't see much value in this feature, called "blockimages," but I can imagine all sorts of uses. Suppose you're booking a hotel in a city you haven't visited. You could use blockimages to see what the surrounding neighborhood looks like. Or you've got to go between two places that are within walking distance; A9's blockimages will help you know if the path between the two places is really walkable.

I plan to use this feature to show you examples of good and bad streetscapes, the difference between places that are active and vital and places that are dead. Some may object that these photos only show what can be seen at street level, but for the purpose of illustrating good urban design, that's really all that matters.


Lisa said:

You can also download Google Earth at It's an incredible globe you can spin and zoom in on. Some cities (not Tulsa) and some terrain is available in 3-D. You can choose whether or not you want to see borders, hotels, places to eat and the image is only a year old. It's like traveling the globe from your computer.

You need a broadband connection and computer that can handle the graphics.

Adam C said:

Download "Google Earth" and prepare to be amazed. It's quite impreseive.

Unrelated: I'm wondering if you're going to post on the JC Watts announcement. Who is left for the GOP in the GOV race?

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 21, 2005 6:25 PM.

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