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Block View: Something I didn't know I wanted

Gavin O'Malley reports that over at the A9 search engine, Amazon has added the capability of viewing a photo of the neighboring stores of the brick store you just found. How clever! But apparently this has been brewing awhile. Google has acquired similar technology. Unfortunately, A9 doesn't have Houston yet.

Link: MediaDailyNews 01-29-05.

"This service is meant to break down the barriers between on- and off-line retail so that users feel as comfortable online as they do on Main Street," explained Barnaby Dorfman, director of product development at A9. The service's "block view" feature--which gives users a peek at neighboring stores --offers previously unavailable information about businesses, such as parking availability, handicap accessibility, and a general sense of the area surrounding the business, said Udi Manber, CEO of A9.