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How Google's "Business Photos" Are Helping Local Businesses

Over the past two years, one of the many programs Google has been testing and developing is called Business Photos. It grew out of the “street view” aspect of Google Maps, which provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the area around a street address.

Business Photos now extends that same technology inside certain local business establishments that want to give it a try. Among the first piloting the technology are the Soma restaurant Ironside, nearby wine bar District, Public Bikes, and the Brick Monkey, in Redwood City.

Housing Search Engine HotPads Joins the Party in San Francisco

As entrepreneurs from all over pour into San Francisco to participate in the latest tech boom, rents are rising across the city. And one of the best ways to gauge that rise is to check out HotPads, the map-based housing search engine and listings service.

As it turns out, HotPads, the company, is part of this trend itself. The 20-person startup, which started as a tiny venture in Washington, D.C. in 2005, has just moved its headquarters to the Mission District.

“I’ve been trying to get back here for six years,” says co-founder Douglas Pope, whose first job after college (Notre Dame) was in this area.

HotPads uses its own mapping technology – back when the company started, Google Maps had not yet fully emerged from the laboratory, plus the search giant was not focused on mapping rental housing listings.

HotPads also offers additional layers of data, including neighborhood information, price comparison tools, school district and public transportation overlays, and so on.

In other words, the service tries to provide the kind of information you most need when you’re seeking a new place to live.

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