I was playing with Nestoria and was blown away by the smoothness of their application (you can’t really call it a website, as it’s so much more), and how well the integration with? other third party sites works.
Let us say, you want to buy a home in Liverpool for example. The search results page includes a map by Google Maps, property listings from a number of different agencies and a wealth of information about Liverpool including transport, police, pubs, schools and lots more. Under the bonnet, all this information is coming from a number of different websites and services, yet they are presented in a cohesive manner that gives the end-user an extremely rich experience. You get a similar experience if you’re looking to rent property in Liverpool or even flatshare in Liverpool. I’ve used Liverpool as an example, but they cover the whole of the UK, so the website is applicable to anyone here. (actually they do Spain also, but that’s another story)
The other thing I liked about the Nestoria is that there’s an attached blog which recounts some of the challenges they have faced in putting it all together, as well as serving as a discussion ground for new ideas and developing thoughts. Posts range from talking about the use of AJAX to make the site more usable, to their support of OpenStreetMaps. Speaking about OpenStreetMaps, Dan Karran is coming over the Isle of Man in September and I’m hoping to catch up with him.
I like Nestoria. It’s a great example of vertical search and demonstrates quite elegantly have effective mashups can be. Seems like the team meets up in a London pub every so often. I might just pop down and say hello one day.