Street-level images + Google maps

Now you can not only find coffee shops offering free wireless internet on Google maps, you can see exactly what the coffee shop looks like before ever having to venture out into the cruel and unforgiving sunlight. In my post on Google Print I mentioned Amazon’s new block-level view for maps and expressed the following wish:

In fact, one can only hope that someone out there is working on combining Google Maps’ search flexibility and aerial photographs, Amazon’s street-level pictures, JiWire’s hotspot finder and the Gmaps pedometer into one world-destroying über-map.

Well, aside from integrating the pedometer into the rest, it’s been done. In a comment I mentioned MetroFreeFi, but that doesn’t give you the block-level view. Instead, just follow these instructions (ð: MAKE: Blog) and then search for, say, “wifi in philadelphia” on Google Maps. Like so (click on the C, D, or E pins to have the block-level view show up). Google’s using Wi-Fi-FreeSpot to find free WiFi hotspots on their maps, which doesn’t get all of them, but does get quite a few.

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