Between Google releasing Earth on Tuesday and a map API yesterday, and Yahoo! also releasing a map API yesterday, it's an exciting week for the map lover in me.
But between all the announcements, it was easy to overlook the launch of the A9 maps beta. I admit I'm biased, but I think it's pretty neat. One of my first comments when I saw this was "when did mapquest get such pretty maps?" Be sure to check out a city with Block View data (how about San Francisco?) to experience how much fun it can be to explore the Block View images with this interface. Don't miss the "Mark Streets With Block View" toggle.
Remember, it's actually a beta (I haven't actually asked the guys who are working on this, but I don't doubt that this claim that they finished at 2 am). Also check out what DeWitt has to say.
It's definitely exciting times for maps. I can't wait to see what someone comes up with next.
Joel on Software - Bionic Office
A9 just moved to a new office with a lot of interesting angles, and I was reminded of this article about a neat looking office space.
Yesterday, A9 launched OpenSearch, which I'm incredibly excited about. DeWitt already summed up the possibilities this has for exposing "the long tail of search," and I couldn't agree more.
What does this mean for you as a search consumer? Well, if you use A9.com (or any other future OpenSearch aggregator), you can now simultaneously query 56 search services (and counting) with one search.
Standard Issue Disclaimer: I work for A9. Speaking of which, we're hiring.
By the way, here's the intro graf I sent out when I started at A9.com more than a month ago now. It seems like a pretty reasonable "who I am these days" graf, so here we go:
"Oh boy, this is the part where I have to write an introduction that somehow makes me seem both incredibly interesting to know and work with, but not show offy either. Here goes: Benjy like the mouse, not like the dog. Went to Berkeley, majored in Cog Sci (the "other" CS). I worked at NexTag.com after graduation, and now I'm happily here. My hobbies include snowboarding, music in languages I don't speak, and looking for parking in San Francisco. I look forward to working with y'all, and if there are any scrabble fiends out there we should get a game going at lunch sometime.
And as Jim and Alex discovered yesterday, you probably won't want to be in the room if I'm playing table tennis."
And if you haven't checked out A9.com yet, you totally should.