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Coming across Mapstan lately I just thought: Hey - so Kartoo.com is not the only french webmapping search facility, and moved on. In fact there is so much more to it.
First of all, because some people here just need the G-word to be interested ;), for basic search results Mapstan.net uses the new Google API. Results are mapped in fashion rughly similar to Kartoo. This alone is a very very nice toy for webmasters and can be used like a regular websearch at search.mapstan.net [search.mapstan.net].
For Mapstan anyhow this is just the foundation of a very ambitious project. The french company invites users to download a software called WPS, the Web Positioning System, which enables a toolbar.
This toolbar records the users surfing habits and converts it to personalized maps on a daily basis. So that the toolbar user quickly gets a map of "his" Internet.
On the basis of those personal webmaps Mapstan enriches it's websearch results map. Data from the personal maps, collected through the toolbar, get compared. A user gets results enriched by links to sites visited by other users who have similar surfing habits.
Doesn't this sound like the original Pagerank concept, only with measurement taken away from webmasters and given to users?
MapStan offers (or plans to offer...) this technology for websearch, for intranet search, and for B2C sites.
Now tell me: did I see the future of search - or is it the face of Big Brother staring back at me?
I was just reading through the FAQ. The suggesting sites sounds like a more sophisticated version of what Alexa did long ago.
I am a little worried about their use of Active X - that seems dangerous.
I think something like this might be a powerful marketing tool.