earthmine Introduces Virtual Graffiti and Virtual (and real world) Ads via Wild Style City

By Adena Schutzberg

earthmine, the company that bills its imager as an "alternative" to Google StreetView, has taken the next step in interactive use of its imagery. earthmine offers not only pretty images, but also accurate 3D metric models. The model enables measurement and accurate latitude/longitude locating. Thus, the current data and API are used for hard core mapping: measuring distances, updating asset locations, more accurately locating buildings, and adding and managing attribute information about features. To date, users have included government, enterprise, local search, social media and mobile companies, as well as those who want to offer "more" than the StreetView experience.

Measuring using earthmine data. (Click for larger image)

Now the company has taken the next step. At Where 2.0 the company added some new features, collected into Wild Style City, which enable locating virtual graffiti and advertisements onto the imagery. Users can draw right on buildings to express their feelings or artistic bent, just as they would with street art. These, says Anthony Fassero, co-CEO, will lead to conversations, just like comments on a blog.

Graffiti on top of earthmine's dataset. Also note the drawing palette at right. (Click for larger image)

The new features can be used to hang virtual, clickable advertisements. The ads can be explored by those visiting the virtual world from the desktop or by those traveling in the nearby geography in the real world who might receive a corresponding message via location-enabled service. In this way, Wild Style City can be used to locate hotspots which will be activated when people visit that geography.

While I fully appreciate the use of earthmine as a tool to capture mapping data, its use for virtual and actual location-based ads is a bit of a stretch for me. Still, I do applaud the idea of finding new roles and ways to monetize the very detailed 3D dataset.

Published Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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