Google Street View is a truly amazing technological and social tool, it allows users to explore streets, landmarks and natural wonders all the way from the Swiss Alps to Scott's Hut in Antarctica.
Yet by and large the images lack a human element (aside from the occasional pranks played on the intrepid Street View team).
A new project from Rutgers Social Media Information Lab is looking to change this and is using Instagram to add local character to Google's ubiquitous maps.
While The Beat takes geolocated and hashtagged Instagram images and overlays them with the corresponding Google Street View location.
Giving maps a human face
The Beat may be just a research project at the moment, it provides an interesting look at how different technologies and platforms can be used together.
And while Google and Facebook, which owns Instagram, are unlikely to officially collaborate on a similar project anytime soon, visit The Beat today and see what's happening in your neck of the woods.