When we last mentioned the company in May, it told us it would have nine cities online by the end of this year. At the moment, it has four: Aspen, Boston, Miami and New York, although the listings within those cities are far from complete.
Aside from providing an inside view, Everyscape uses different methods than its oversized competitors. Where Google uses video captures, Everyscape utilizes digital cameras to take high-resolution pictures from pre-determined waypoints. A special computational model allows the system to fill in details to provide a sense of movement between locations.
The company also says it has figured out how it will monetize its service. To be included, businesses will have to pay a small monthly fee for their listings, much like the traditional Yellow Pages model. A hotel that wants to take viewers on a grand tour of its interior, or a restaurant that wants to show off its ambiance, would be two examples of potential clients. Problem is, there are lots of services demanding payment for listings. Several local business listing sites have gone out of business, most recently Judy’s Book.
Small advertisements from nearby businesses will also display as users wander virtually through the cities.
Although CEO Jim Schoonmaker says his service is superior to one like Google in the high resolution of its pictures, he says Everyscape has some back-end work to do as it becomes larger. Getting content is actually the easy part, he told us. What’s far more difficult is building a database that can handle all the information. “We’ve had to catch up to Google and Microsoft in that way,” he said.
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