Yahoo offers map-mixing, shopping by color

Yahoo has released two potentially useful products:

The first is MapMixer. This lets you take a map file of your own — say of the Stanford University Campus, or of a shopping center in New Delhi, and overlay it on Yahoo’s own maps. This ads detail to Yahoo’s basic road maps that no other service provides. Click on examples below.

The second, Shop By Color, lets people on the Yahoo Shopping site search for clothing and other items based on 56 different colors.

The products emerged from Yahoo’s “hack days” — events where company developers gather to spend 24 hours building anything that suits their fancy. The point is to show Yahoo is still an innovative company.

Arch-rival Google has grabbed headlines for years because of its “20 percent” rule, where employees are encouraged to spend twenty percent of their working hours on projects of their own choice and creation.

“We have a very healthy hack program and that spirit has continued even as the company is rethinking its place in the universe and all those metaphysical questions,” Bradley Horowitz, vice president of the company’s “advanced development devision,” told CNET. He was referring to Yahoo cofounder Jerry Yang taking over as chief executive earlier this year, with a bold, 100-day plan to reshape the company.
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