The folks over at FindNearBy.net have a mashup to help with your Christmas shopping. They have combined information from Amazon, Ebay, and other shopping venues with Google Maps to provide a visual interface for searching for that hard-to-find item or hunting for nearby bargains.
The map can be displayed as a street map, a satellite map, or a hybrid with streets pasted over the satellite map. Pins mark where the item is being sold, and the pins will glow green if the auction is ending within the next few days, or red if the auction is ending within the next few hours.
Making Your Way Around and Finding Stuff
Map navigation can be accomplished one of three ways. You can type in the zip code of the location at the top and refresh the map by clicking the "Find it!" button. You can also use the navigation buttons on the upper left to pan left, right, up or down. But the easiest way is to grab the map and pull it in the direction you want it to go. You can accomplish this by hovering your mouse in an area of the map that doesn't have pins, holding the mouse button down, and moving the mouse.
You can also zoom the map in or out by using the scale on the left or the "+" and "-" buttons.
To find what you are looking for, simply type in the name at the top and click the "Find it!" button. If your search produces unwanted results, you can narrow down the list by choosing a category. You can also indicate how far you are willing to drive by changing how close to the zip code pins should be displayed.
And There is More to Come
The folks are FindNearBy are also working on sites that target particular areas of interest. These targeted sites will use data from particular stores that stock a specific category of item. For example, adding shoe stores into the main site might slow things down, but creating a site specifically for shoes to search through shoe stores creates a quick, efficient shopping experience.
And, for those that are hoping to find a Wii for a loved one before Christmas, one of these sites will help you find that Wii.
Screenshot © 2008 FindNearby.net. Find What You Want Near Home--with No Annoying Ads!