ubikcan

October 30, 2007

YourStreet

Filed under: map, mashups — ubikcan @ 8:08 am

yournews.jpg

TechCrunch lets us know of a new company combining maps and news: YourStreet.

What do you get when you combine Google Maps with hyper-local news and comments? You get a map-based news site called YourStreet, which officially launches tomorrow (although the site is already up). The site detects where you are located and serves up news stories about events that recently occurred in your city or neighborhood, as well comments from YourStreet members who live nearby.

When I tried it from home it accurately brought up my neighborhood without me entering any information (based on IP address?). The second time however I was required to enter my zipcode or address. However, the news items revealed some of the arbitrariness of “hyper-local.” For example a story in the city paper discussed something the county is doing which gets a pushpin in a precise location/address: a scale mismatch.

Other aspects are better. A stage had collapsed at nearby Emory University, injuring three people, and it combined three different different news sources into one pushpin: clever. This must be a function of it using the Google news aggregator page which does something similar.

I also find the shape of the map (a long narrow oblong) a little weird.

The main question however is does this provide a useful service? I can actually see this working better in a mobile context but for the moment I don’t feel very compelled to return to this unless it was combined with another service (like Fodor’s or CitySearch).

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