MapJack: Google Street View For San Francisco

    June 29, 2007

If you live in (or are going to visit) San Francisco, there’s a neat new website for you to use.  If you live anywhere else, well . . . there’s a neat new website for you to look at.  MapJack, which can be compared with Google’s Street View, only works in that one Californian city.

“MapJack is still in beta form,” points out Nick Mokey for Digital Trends, “but in the future it could represent a challenge to Google if it manages to expand to other cities and further refine its interface.”  Unfortunately, it remains unclear if MapJack will do either of these things.

In the meantime, MapJack puts on an impressive show within San Francisco.  Picture quality is relatively high, and thanks to a representative figure named Jack (who can be viewed against both map and satellite overhead views), it’s easy to see where “you” are in relation to other streets and buildings.

The one area in which MapJack falls behind Google (besides its area of coverage) is, as Mokey notes, the way in which pictures are presented – when moving Jack, he jumps from point to point, and so pictures are not sent in a smooth scroll.  (Also, the higher picture quality eliminated all the freaky effects found in Google’s Street View, and I kind of miss them.)

All in all, MapJack is quite nice – in San Francisco.  And if that’s all the company’s leaders are hoping to achieve, they’re in fantastic shape.  Yet for most of us (and Google) to really take note, we’re going to need a few more cities to get involved in this venture.