So, I have an idea.  It’s another one of these invention-type ideas I’ll brood on for a few hours, but which have no intention of acting on.

I think someone should create a Google Maps overlay for professional networking.  I don’t mean to look for jobs or make sales or anything like that, but I imagine that several types of jobs (IT, HR, and office administration, in particular) could really benefit from knowing their neighbors.  There’re buildings on either side of my work, barely any further away than my neighbors’ houses at home, yet no-one in their right mind would think of going next door to introduce themselves.  Just the other day I needed a standard computer power cable, and I’m sure both of those buildings had some me analogue, at least one of which had a spare cable, but how could I go next door to ask for it?

But a site like this – you just advertise yourself based on your address, and your neighbors, if they’ve advertised themselves, pop right up for you to see.  It would probably need to be like a dating service, where you send email through a site form so privacy issues are handled properly, but they can reply directly back if they prefer.  I would totally take advantage of a service like that.  Even if they didn’t have the cable, they could probably tell me what little hole-in-the-wall store nearby would be worth going to.  Think of the Google Adwords potential – I bet the site would be in the black from the first year.

On a similar note, I’d like to see a site where I could put in an address, then see what businesses are around it.  I know I’m looking for Joe’s Crab Shack, but what’s next to it, in case I can’t find it.  Sometimes it’s easier to find a Walmart than the UPS store.  How hard would that be?