I can’t work out of this is brilliant or mad:
Amazon.com is jumping into the online Yellow Pages business with a splash today, touting a photo service that allows shoppers to stroll through cities without ever having to leave their personal computers.
The service, called Block View, is the brainchild of Amazon’s search engine subsidiary, A9.com, based in Palo Alto. Company employees have driven more than 20,000 miles in camera-equipped sport-utility vehicles in recent months, videotaping tens of thousands of storefronts and converting the images into 20 million photographs.
To date, the company has collected images for 10 major metropolitan areas, including San Jose and other Bay Area cities. But A9 officials said they hope to have coverage for the entire United States.
If someone came to me with a project like this, my first question would be: can it scale? My second, related question would be: can we support it?
But I suppose this just goes to confirm that the classifieds space is going to get even more crowded over the next couple of years.