Taking advantage of extensibility part II - You got your A9 images in my Googlemaps!

Google Maps: Everyone loves it, totally hackable
A9 Local Images: Interesting idea, difficult to use well, semi-hackable.

Why not take A9 Local images and insert them into Google Maps search results? (A9 Local images are storefront snapshots - taken by Amazon's A9.com - of 15 major US Cities)

How does it work? Greasemonkey lets me inject script into any page (viewed in Firefox), and the script I injected is set up to fetch an Address Search from A9.com, looking for a corresponding image. If an image is found, it's displayed in the "Info Balloon" on Google Maps (see screenshot1, screenshot2)

How can you use this too? First, use Firefox, Second, make sure you have the latest release (0.5 or better) of the Greasemonkey extension installed, Third, right-click on this link: a9gmap.user.js, and choose "Install User Script". Once that's done, navigate to a Google Maps page, like these: Cafes in Seattle, or Graumann's Chinese Theater, click on a red icon (or the info paragraph at right) and you should see the small A9 image appear 1-2 seconds after the info balloon pops up (see screenshots above for what it's supposed to look like).

For best results: A9.com images only cover 15 major metro regions right now, listed here - and coverage is far from comprehensive. Also, if looking up a single address (as opposed to multiple ones), you may have to click on the red icon in the center to get the A9 image to appear (once the page has loaded).

Please, feel free to send bugs, problems and/or suggestions my way.

More about Greasemonkey here and here. And, as I recently discovered, Google Maps now has an API.

Taking advantage of extensibility part I - a Flickr.com Greasemonkey Script here: