Four or five years ago at Carnival in Notting Hill my good friend and I were talking about media when it hit me--with the increase in realtime media production stamped with location data, there is nothing stopping a company from stitching all this data together and build a realtime virtual world based on consumer generated media (sort of like what Photosynth does). A seemingly novel idea to me, the notion of the Mirror World was not new. Still, the realization of the power of the concept had not yet been presented to me in a way that was practical.
Fast Forward to today.
At Google I/O they presented the refreshed version of Google Maps and...holy shit it is slick. I have often likened the Google search box to the dewey decimal system in terms of it's arcane user experience, but with the new Google Maps, Google has created a new interface to search and discover things in the world around us. New and exciting ways to both find and share also add to the idea that, one day, maybe Google+ will be useful. What I mean is, if the sharing features in the new maps are so useful, it may just be enough motivation to spend more time building out your social graph on Google (though they really take care of a lot of it for you, provided you have taken the simple step of signing up).
Welcome Mirror World, welcome to a new era of search and once again, thanks to the big G!