Nicely timed to compete with Google’s Street Views, a Massachusetts-based company working in stealth mode just launched a demo of their technology. Right now, going to EveryScape offers you an immersive, 3D exploration of San Francisco’s Union Square, though a spokeswoman tells me they intend to have the full city available in September, followed by nine other cities. Ultimately the company hopes to “scape” the entire physical world.
It’s an interesting concept, similar in appearance to those interactive, 360 degree images which enjoyed some vogue on the Web a few years ago. Here, sites within the image are tagged with links to reviews and other information– think Google Earth on the Web, mashed up with Google Maps (which is actually included as a widget on the EveryScape site.)
With such a limited demo, it’s hard to tell if the underlying technology is compelling enough for practical use; load times are long, so it’s not a seamless experience. Still, you can easily imagine using this when you’re searching for an ideal new apartment location, for example, or want to get a visual reference to a restaurant in an obscure part of town. At the moment, however, a quicker if less immersive way of doing that is probably, well, through Google Street Views.