A9 is Amazon’s search engine. Mainly, it’s an aggregator of search services available elsewhere, like Google, the Internet Movie Database, and Amazon itself. They’re starting to provide their own content, though. The most impressive feature so far is adding photos to yellow page listings. They drove trucks equipped with a cameras and GPS around 10 cities, taking pictures continuously. Then they can match the GPS coordinates to the street address. For example, a search for the Waltham Tavern, a dive bar half a block away from my apartment, it returns a yellow page listing with a picture of it.
They have good pictures for many of my neighborhood haunts, like the Franklin Cafe, Pho Republique, Thai Village. They have my favorite specialty shops, Morse Fish Co and South End Formaggio, and where I buy my groceries, Foodie’s Urban Market.
You can even see the front door of my apartment building. Start at Tommy Tish, a strange little gift shop on my street. Above the picture of their storefront, press the left arrow just below the “find it on the block” title to move down the street. After about 35 clicks, you’ll pass over Shawmut Street and then the Waltham Tavern. About eight more clicks will take you to my front door.
Unfortunately, two of my favorite places, The Dish and DeLux, don’t have pictures. DeLux is on the Chandler at the corner of Clarendon. Amazon doesn’t have images for Chandler, but it does for Clarendon. I found another business on Clarendon, walked up the street until I saw DeLux, and saved that image. Then I uploaded it to the DeLux listing as a “customer image”. I was hoping you’d see it on the main page, but you have to click through to the customer image page page to see it. This isn’t a very good shot. I’ll try to remember to snap a better picture next time I walk by.