The New York Times on Sunday covered mapping site EveryScape and its effort to create 3-D maps of urban environments, but also store and business interiors. (Here’s our post from when the site formally launched in October.) The Times’ piece focuses on the interior mapping dimension of what EveryScape is doing, which helps differentiate it from larger competitors such as Google and Microsoft, although Microsoft has stated the same ambition.
EveryScape has settled on a business model where it charges retailers and local businesses an annual fee to include interior images on its site. The range is between $250 to $2,000, depending on the size of the interior space.
While the model makes logical sense, it reproduces the familiar problem of trying to get local businesses to participate. Thus EveryScape will soon need to branch out and enlist third-party sales channels and probably offer its maps to others via an API. The company does have other revenue streams, but if this one is going to work it’s going to need to tweak its efforts. For example, I could image an interesting project — along the lines of NearbyNow — by 3-D “enabling” every shopping mall or shopping area in the US. Mall owners and merchant associations would make this process of getting sign-ups and store interior photography much more efficient.
However, the company also can use conventional photographs (another differentiator) and so could enlist store owners and merchants themselves to submit photographs and charge a discounted hosting fee if they did so.
Regardless, EveryScape’s technology and project is too interesting for one of the larger online entities not to make a go at it eventually. (Perhaps Yahoo, which has more recently lagged Google and Microsoft in the bells and whistles department.)
In a related bit of mapping news, Google’s StreetView cars were spotted in Australia. According to figures cited by the Sydney Morning Herald, Google Maps is now the most popular online mapping service down under.
Google previously confirmed to us that StreetView will be covering major cities around the globe.