I’ve even playing another LBS game called SCVNGR recently and I realized what a genius move Google Ventures made when they invested in the company. Google’s mantra has always been to organize the world’s information. The most unstructured information at the moment is places.
In fact, Google itself has a hard time of returning the right information for local businesses. It crowdsources this on Google maps itself and is in a constant war with user edited data. With a LBS check-in game in it’s portfolio, Google can use the data points from SCVNGR to sanitize this data. Places that have check-in data are legitimate. That local bar all of a sudden stops receiving checkins? They must be closed. New business opens up, not to worry, someone will create a new spot on SCVNGR.
However, that’s only part of the story. One of SCVNGR’s challenges is to take a picture of the place you’re checked in at. Now, imagine, hundreds of photos of the same place from different angles, inside and out. With enough if these, an “indoor” street view is just a map reduce stitch away.