Online mapping is one of my favourite geeky obsessions. I use Google Street View to check out just about any place before I visit, as it’s a very helpful time-saver if you’re driving or walking somewhere and you don’t know what the meeting spot looks like.
Enter Microsoft Research to make the whole process more efficient: Microsoft is now showing off a new type of street-level view that makes it faster and easier to hop down a street.
Presenting the new view at the SIGGRAPH conference in LA, Microsoft’s Street Slide lets you zoom out of a street to see a panoramic view.
So if you’re looking for a restaurant, for example, and it’s on the left side of the street — traditionally, you’d have to keep clicking forward, forward, forward until you made it to the resto, or you’d have to zoom in. Zooming causes pixelation which makes the image impossible to comprehend.
Microsoft’s Street Slide lets you essentially take the whole left-hand side of the street and flatten it like a two-dimensional storybook. In this view you can see the whole side of the street easily and once you spot the restaurant you can easily slide back into the street view.
I won’t waste too many words describing this because the video does a much better visual job of explaining: