restaurants at night
This is a sweet visualization (via). Not very useful perhaps (especially if you don't live in seattle, chicago or nyc), but fun none the less.
Urbanspoon itself seems pretty cool. Yeah, I know, it's another restaurant review site. And it's got social networking aspects. And a google maps mashup. And a youthful, chatty voice. We've all been, done, gotten bored with the tshirt.
But just because it's all been done, doesn't mean it's bad. In fact, social networking and google maps can be really helpful in the right domain (and this is an important domain; my belly). A chatty persona is nicer than the used car salesman persona that most of the competition can't seem to shake off.
Actually, that's really what it comes down to, isn't it. The voice of the site is so important. Being forced to click through to a map (with more ads) is an insult when the alternative is for a map to be right there. After experiencing clear navigation and a choice of easy browse options, going back to "search this site" seems distasteful. The lack of clutter is addictive.
Thanks to Rakka for finding it.