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Microsoft Street Slide: Street view will never be the same

Microsoft researchers have developed a tool to enhance the current street view functionality of Bing Streetside. In a typical street view implementation, a sense of “being there” is accomplished by putting photos side by side and scrolling through them like a very slow stop-motion video. While you can pan and zoom in any street mode picture, you can’t really move around seamlessly, as if you were walking. Street view is, therefore, no more than an illusion or presence.

With Street Slide, Microsoft plans to change this. According to MIT's Technology Review, Street Slide is a way to “move” down a city block using a string of connected panoramic photos. This doesn’t interfere with the typical rotate and zoom features in Bing Streetside, and you can switch seamlessly between the two modes, making the first person navigation experience much more flexible and practical. As you ‘slide’ along a city street, you will be able to see Bing Maps data on the locations you’re going past. Information like street addresses, store names and rating will show up just like it would in the normal Bing Maps or Streetside. The panoramic view is a widescreen experience, so space is left above and below the picture for the data and advertisements to reside in.

Microsoft research will be exhibiting Street Slide at the upcoming computer graphics conference SIGGRAPH 2010, in Los Angeles, CA.

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