I finally found something about A9.com that makes me want to check it out. I haven’t paid much attention to their search technology because I’m still very happy with Google search results and don’t see much use in switching. Something I most likely will use is their new technology for connecting photos of a specific location and tying them to GPS coordinates to link map points in Mapquest to the images to provide a visual reference with an otherwise meaningless destination in driving directions. While static pictures would be somewhat cool, they’ve further raised the bar making the images navigable so you can see images next to your destination or across the street from your destination on the map. No more wondering if you’re in the right spot, you’ll know because you’ve seen it before you get there.
From a gadget hackers perspective, you may already have all the required tools for making your own photo location map. To link the images, A9.com uses an SUV-mounted digital video camera connected to GPS, which links to a laptop that automatically processes the images. Ultimately the whole project ties back to a Mapquest search providing you relevant images for a planned destination. You can see this demonstrated in my image search for the Westin St. Francis hotel, location of Where 2.0.