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March 29, 2008

MapJack, a Better Google Street View

MapJack is an effort similar to Google's Street View to capture street-level imagery. The site only has imagery from San Francisco, Sausalito (US) and Chiang Mai (Thailand), but San Francisco's images are the most impressive. They look so good that you almost think you're there.

MapJack lets you fine tune the images by adjusting their brightness, sharpness and quality. For example, to make the picture clearer, increase the sharpness. The options are available by clicking on the blue star button.

The company has developed its own technology to gather imagery which also works in walking areas, not just on the streets. "We developed an array of proprietary electronics, hardware and software tools that enable us to capture an entire city's streets with relative ease and excellent image quality. We have a complete low-cost scalable system encompassing the entire work-flow process needed for Immersive Street-Side Imagery, from picture gathering to post-processing to assembling on a Website."

The words "low-cost" and "scalable" should sound familiar to Google, so MapJack seems like a good fit for an acquisition.





{ Thank you, Russell. }

20 comments:

  1. Wow nice find. Why do you think this is better than Google street view?

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  2. This is honestly in much better quality then Google Street View pictures. The only disadvantage is that it's a bit slow in use, or is it only me?

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  3. @Philipp: compare the quality:

    Google Street View

    MapJack

    And: "Jack's on a mission, on foot, by car, and by boat. Our coverage area doesn't stop street-side, we also include walking areas such as Parks, Universities and famous walking streets. San Francisco is only our starting point, more coverage and more cities coming soon.

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  4. It looks like Google just needs some better post-processing on their images. MapJack's images are much more colorful and vibrant, and higher detail. MapJack is actually faster for me than Google Street View. Google has virtually the same technology, so I think an acquisition is unlikely. Though Google is going to need to know some post-processing tips if they are to compete. Even Microsoft could probably do better than Google right now, just seeing the difference in quality in MapJack vs Google Street View.

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  5. Mapperz also did a good review/comparison of Mapjack vs. Google a couple of weeks back

    http://mapperz.blogspot.com/2008/03/streetview-mapjack-vs-google.html

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  6. The interface is a lot better. I had trouble using Google's street view but this seems much more natural.

    I still object to having this type of information online for every city out there though... it makes travel much less fun when you have too many expectations from "back home".

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  7. MapJack has nice pictures, but they need to work on their search functionality to make the site more useable.

    A search of Union Square under the San Francisco drop down box returned one result: Union Square, NY.

    Searching Presidio returned only Presidio, TX. Searching Golden Gate returned only Golden Gate, IL.

    I would think that's easily fixable.

    Looking forward to seeing additional cities added to the mix.

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  8. That proves how streetview is a huuuge leap forward in remote locations visits. As this service is already suffering competition in the US, in Europe it seemed almost non-existing! However, I recently discovered that company called GlobalVision, based in Switzerland. Through the website www.virtualvisit.tv it is announced that they have now started streetview service in Europe. I wonder if google could be endangered by those city- /country- / continent-scaled initiatives?

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  9. MapJack es mucho mejor es mas interactivo y facil de usar comparando con Google, me gustaria hacer uno para Lima / PerĂº :D

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  10. No, MapJack isn't better than Street View, Sure, it has better quality images, but that's not why people want imagery. Would you want a house because it looks good? No, you want a house because you wanted a shelter for you and your things, right? Same with Google Street View, it doesn't have image quality control, but it works. That's all that matters, and Google lets you see the sky and the ground and much more cities thsn MapJack.

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  11. its all about virtual reality. the images may later be used to make 2d and 3d images of cities and buildings. google is doing this project world wide if possible and is in phase 1 of many on the project. collecting the data is step one. this is just the prelimiary use of the images. be ready for some amazing ideas to come out of google for these images of the entire U.S., canada, and much of the world.

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  12. FlagFreak, you are so wrong. Quality is everything. I prefer Mapjack over Google street view any day. The navigation is better, the image control is better, downloading of images is faster, and of course the images themselves are so much better.

    The coverage is just a matter of time.

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  13. I absolutely prefer MapJack over Google Earth's Street View. For me, it's faster and picture quality is of course far superior. When I explore a city, I want the experience to be as close as I can get to "being there." MapJack delivers. Hopefully, more locations will be added soon.

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  14. The navigation on Google Street View, both on the web page and Google Earth, is miserable. I do like MapJack a lot more.

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  15. I agree that MapJack is so much better than Google's StreetView. Googles images are very blurry, like their camera is way to slow to capture a good image. MapJack's are sharp, colorful and a pleasure to watch.

    Also Google's navigation sucks. They have the image window on top of the street map, which makes it a pain to navigate.

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  16. It only has San Francisco and Thailand? Why bother?

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  17. Anonymous: They are doing many more cities, it's just a matter of time. Google Street View had only a few at the start. All it takes is them getting the systems out to other cities and recruiting a team to do more image collection.

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  18. How can I change the language? The map appeares in thai, I want english? Is it only my problem, or it's same for everibody?

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  19. San Francisco is no longer availible. =(

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  20. I cannot locate San Francisco anymore too.

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