4 tools that support community building at the street level.
Just heard from my co-worker, Chris Haller, who is at Where 2.0 that Google has announced yet another cool tool for visualization. Street View provides panoramic views embedded as an additional view to g-maps. Initially this tool is only available in 5 cities: Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, New York and San Francisco.
Was able to locate the following YouTube demo. Corny video, but cool technology.
Also announced at Where 2.0 is a map-based community network called Fatdoor which brings together social networking elements such as personal profiles, intra-personal connections, group networking and information sharing, but is centered on local neighborhoods. The tool uses Microsoft's Virtual Earth online mapping platform to visualize and explore a neighborhood. Currently it is available as an invitation-only trial, but sounds very interesting.
Next, in my search for biodiesel stations for our car, I came across plaitial.com -- a great use of google mash-ups to collect community data points and add pictures and information. I found the user interface and the mapmaker tool very easy to use and intuitive. Google's My Maps, which came out in March, allows much the same functionality. Here is an interesting oral history of Route 66.