Maps, Goggles and Foursquare

I’m not a highly techno geek, but I do like to hear about new applications, websites and programs. I may never do anything with them, but it’s fun to see what the Googles and Microsofts of the world have up their sleeve.

Google Goggles
Google Goggles is a mobile app that allows you to take a picture of something…a monument, book cover, retail store, wine bottle, work of art…and then it searches the gazillion web pages and brings up results with more information. It looks pretty cool, but since it’s only available using Google’s Android operating system, we BlackBerry users are left in the dark. But according to PC World, Google will release versions for the iPhone and BlackBerry in the future.

Check Google Goggles homepage for more information or this blog post from TechCrunch.

This could be useful in the real estate world. How easy for someone who is house hunting to take a picture of a house that is for sale, and then have Google bring up all the necessary information? This could have some privacy issues though…what happens when that house is not for sale anymore? Might work for commercial properties though.

Please note that Google Goggles is different from  Google Mail Goggles, which helps determine if a person is sober enough to send an e-mail. I wonder how many college students have that activated on their Google mail account?

I heard about this site from a recent episode of the media hacks podcast (I am the other listener). I’m not familiar with foursquare, but what I gather is that users post where they are in a certain city (worldwide), and then you can find and meet up with all your friends. There is also a game component to it, but I’m not into gaming, so I won’t focus on that aspect.

I figured my city would not be listed, as this midwestern town isn’t on the cutting edge of technology, but I did find Kansas City and Oklahoma City. The U.S. biggies include Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York, Dallas / Fort Worth, Minneapolis, and New Orleans, just to name a few. Fun little app if your friends are as techno-cool as you!

Microsoft’s Bing Maps
Microsoft’s answer to Google Maps, Bing Maps is impressive. I haven’t played around with it much, but it has a lot of potential, and even includes a couple of cool things like a Twitter feature and “today’s front page” option. Bing maps allows you to see in 3D selected cities around the US.

I wish this would have been around when my husband was in the Air Force. Every time we moved, we would travel to the next city and look for housing. With these maps, we could have at least seen what the house looked like from the outside and the neighborhood, and narrowed down our selections via internet. These maps also would have helped when I was looking for jobs in different cities. I could see beforehand what the building looked like and maybe have an idea of where to park. Nothing like being in a strange city on a job interview and not knowing the lay of the land beforehand.

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