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Amazon launches mapping site

Amazon.com’s search engine, A9, recently launched a map and directions site. A9 uses its unique Block View technology, which gives street-level storefront photos for thousands of miles of streets in major metropolitan areas. The A9 Maps product’s distinguishing feature, Block View, was initially incorporated into A9’s Yellow Pages search. To construct it, Amazon used trucks equipped with digital cameras and GPS and drove around major urban areas, photographing as they went. The result is a mosaic of photos that, when combined, map the storefronts and home fronts of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and 18 other U.S. cities.