Microsoft's Streetside launches in Europe

In a move aimed at trying to be more competitive with Google’s StreetView mapping service, Microsoft today announced that their version entitled “Streetside” was launching across Europe.

The service, which has been around in America for some time, will once again see large cameras on the top of cars driving around European streets and mapping the locations. Microsoft began mapping out areas around London today according to the BBC, with the company starting work in major cities around Europe next month.

Unlike Google’s own StreetView service, Microsoft only plans to record data in “urban centres” where they believe people will want to find services. This is in stark contrast to Google who have been mapping as many locations as they possibly can in their popular service.

In another move that differs from Google, Microsoft has said that they will try to inform the public when they will be arriving in their area to start mapping their streets. This move was brought on, not just by the complaints of a small amount of people made in relation to the lack of knowledge people had when Google were mapping the streets, but also due to the Wi-Fi privacy scandal that Google ended up in last year.

According to the BBC, Microsoft will only offer opting out of the mapping service to German residents, this was due to a new ruling which means that members of the public who wish to opt-out, can do so before any street mapping takes place. This is in contrast to what has happened with Google, who only allowed members of the public to ask for their property to be removed from the StreetView service after the images had gone live.

Microsoft’s Streetside service is set to go live across a number of areas, including their mobile platform Windows Phone 7. How it will fair against Google’s StreetView mapping service is anyone’s guess, especially with what seems like a strange decision only focus on large urban areas.

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Notice the Navtec logo on the car in the image? Navtec = Nokia, who recently chose **drumroll** Microsoft as a partner for Mobile software/OS

Only doing major cities hmm. Unfortunately on this occasion Microsoft will not be making me move away from Google Streeview and use their service. Bit of a disapointment

???

It's not even available in our capital city -- Stockholm, much less in my city with a population of 20 000. To compare, Google Streetview is available throughout most roads in entire Sweden. Disappointing. When they make a big announcement like this, I was hoping for major changes here. Do they even cover Scandinavia at all??

Yeah people knowing in advance that the photo car will pass through....I see a lot of stupid teens following the car and even performing jack-ass like shows in front of it; well either that or I just performed and inception in someone's mind.

This isn't the first time the service has been available outside America. Bing Maps has had streetside imagery for Vancouver, Canada since last January.

We already have photos of all the streets... If they're not even going to match Google's effort then they're just wasting petrol tbh. Unless they plan on using it to create 3D reconstructions then I see no point.

what said,
We already have photos of all the streets... If they're not even going to match Google's effort then they're just wasting petrol tbh. Unless they plan on using it to create 3D reconstructions then I see no point.

MS and Google have a lot of services which r common to both, for example BING Search and Google Search; Windows Live Mail and Gmail.. both have d same functions, do u see the point in that?

WiCkeD SaM said,

MS and Google have a lot of services which r common to both, for example BING Search and Google Search; Windows Live Mail and Gmail.. both have d same functions, do u see the point in that?


I guess I also speak on what's behalf when I say:
Yes, I see the point.
However I see little point in using the inferior service.
(In case Streetside really does not offer something new)

GS:mac

Have the cars got more equipment than google cars?
As the google cars tended to have less on top(maybe it's the camera cover), and were hatchbacks.

Urban centres is a good start, however I've probably used google streetview in smaller towns/cities and rural areas more.
Although it must have cost google a hellva lot of money to cover nearly every road in the UK.

TangoEight said,
Only urban areas, that rules out where I live

Even tough I live in a urban area, it is always nice to have other areas mapped for when people travel there.

sviola said,

Even tough I live in a urban area, it is always nice to have other areas mapped for when people travel there.

I think they are going to try to push a lot of advertising so that is where urban stores comes in.

How can you contrast the actions of Google and Microsoft? Google made the pictures prior to the law being enacted while MS is making the pictures after the law is enacted. Obviously they will be different.

geoken said,
How can you contrast the actions of Google and Microsoft? Google made the pictures prior to the law being enacted while MS is making the pictures after the law is enacted. Obviously they will be different.

However Google allows anyone to opt out, yet MS are restricting it to Germany. Bit of a contrast there.
Also, what can people do after knowing that MS are filming in the area? Stay indoors?

geoken said,
How can you contrast the actions of Google and Microsoft? Google made the pictures prior to the law being enacted while MS is making the pictures after the law is enacted. Obviously they will be different.

And i guess MS wont try to get peoples info from WiFi networks.. Is it because google got in trouble or is it because its a stupid thing to do?

Lachlan said,

And i guess MS wont try to get peoples info from WiFi networks.. Is it because google got in trouble or is it because its a stupid thing to do?

It's obviously because google got in trouble seeing as how they aren't extending the offer to other countries.

Glassed Silver said,
But Google already won "shack in the battle"?!

inb4 ms haters

GS:mac

Well, for those that aren't using Google, this is a great news. Especially the part about it coming on Windows Phone.

KavazovAngel said,

Well, for those that aren't using Google, this is a great news. Especially the part about it coming on Windows Phone.

I'm with you there
Didn't want to sound like "not liking ms"... hence my inb4 them...


Still using Google, though...

But if they bring it to the iPhone, unlike Google, I'm in! (At least on my iPhone)
^Or does Google Earth for iPhone fix my need?

GS:mac

KavazovAngel said,
Well, for those that aren't using Google, this is a great news.

I agree with you, but I'd prefer to live in society where there is no need to repeat this kind of work (like you don't have to invent all math theorems to use them).

Glassed Silver said,
But Google already won "shack in the battle"?!

where?? Yandex has by far better quality of street view with no annoying censoring.