One of the many cool APIs available through Google Maps is the Street View Image API. This gives you full access to the images taken by the Google vans that photograph streets.
The API is dead simple in the basic form, just a URL:
(The required “sensor” param tells Google if you are getting the location from a GPS device or similar – probably a privacy thing.)
The images are not necessarily spectacular brochure shots:
but it is a useful API for any app that is displaying places that a user might not have been to before. It can both give them an idea of it’s the kind of place they are looking for and help them find it. Here’s an example, a local keycutters: