1. Microsoft's take on Google's idea of hybrid map rendering (labels overlayed on satellite/aerial images) has yielded the most beautiful hybrid I've ever seen on an online map.
2. Sometime ago a commenter of my blog needed to go from Moscow to Shanghai, and Microsoft's map was the only one that produced a usable route. (For this you need to road networks of all the countries along the way, and not choke on huge routes.)
3. Photosynth, 'nuff said. And the followup "finding paths through the world's photos" by the same research group. And that mind-blowing demo (given by the same person, Blaise Aguiera y Arcas) where they incorporated a live camera feed into panoramic views. Look them all up, you won't be disappointed.
4. Bird's eye view and the streets overlaid on top of that.
5. 3D cities in Bing Maps are created professionally, unlike the cities in Google Earth, and it shows.
6. Bing's street-side view has exceptional 3D cues of movement.
And now this. I love watching all this stuff slowly come together.
Bing's mapping tools are built on/what were Multimap aren't they? AFAIK multimap preceded Google Maps and had aerial imagery - a mix between satellite and street view - before Google and before it was handed over to Bing? (This has been my perception, could well be wrong).
Doesn't this mean that Microsoft is beating Google in mapping because they bought the leader in mapping at the time and have [amazingly] built on that?? Slightly less glorious.
>I don't remember Multimap having aerial images before Google
Here's a good review from 2005 of the situation in the USA, http://www.webpronews.com/insiderreports/2005/05/24/msn-vs-g... ; I'm not in the USA.
"The public web site http://www.multimap.com provides a range of free, useful services to assist with everyday life.Key features include street-level maps of the United Kingdom, Europe and the US; road maps of the world; door-to-door travel directions; aerial photographs; weather forecasts; the London Underground map; links to location information; and services such as hotel, restaurant and entertainment booking.Multimap.com, which was recently voted Best Internet Service in the World Communication Awards 2002, attracts over 6.3 million unique users every month and is one of the top 10 most visited websites in the UK." (http://www.directionsmag.com/mobile/news/index.php?duty=Show...)
"Aerial Images, Inc. and UK Perspectives announced today that high-resolution color aerial photography of all of the United Kingdom will be made available for viewing and purchase on the TerraServer(TM) at www.terraserver.com ." (http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-54597413.html)
StreetSlide IS very neat but they're going to need Google-scale street image coverage to make it useful.
(admittedly, it's only available as a Labs feature and in a handful of cities).
Microsoft has really good coverage for theirs, and I find it very useful to actually find places, since it's not as low-level as street view.
Kubrick's boxes - hundreds upon hundreds of them - were receptacles for millions of details about films he mostly never made. One contained photos of Commercial Road in London, taken over the course of a year by his nephew, Manuel Harlan. Harlan stood on a 12ft ladder to photograph every building on the road and laid out the results for the great man to examine in his lair near St Albans. “Sure beats going there,” said Kubrick, delighted.
Kubrick would have had a field day if he were still alive.
CNET confirms: "MSFT has not announced if and when it will be making it to the Bing Maps, or any other map-embedded Microsoft products or services"
Hope they prove me wrong and just ship.
But that's not the goal. This kind of research solves the "hard" problems, hopefully making it easier for engineers at MS (or at other companies) to make a working system. This is not to downplay the latters' roles -- as any engineer can tell you, making a working system for consumers is a very time-consuming process that requires a lot of manpower, engineering, graphic and usability design, etc.
The difference is simply in division of labor. Researchers push the boundary of what's possible, engineers fill in the newly excavated space with working and polished products.
Incidentally, while Google manages to hire all the best engineers/hackers/programmers, their research groups aren't at the level of MSR's yet. In part, I think this is because their research actually makes it to product fairly fast -- because the researchers have to spend a fair amount of time integrating new research results into products. I wonder if this culture will change...
And given this, which culture is under more pressure to change, MSR's or Google's?
Comparing MSR with Google doesn't make sense because MSR is very independent from MS corporate, culture wise at least.
I've known a number of really smart people at Microsoft Research. And I've always wondered why they seem to produce so little. A secondary curiosity - how do they manage to hire such great researchers with their tarnished reputation over the last decade.
it might be because the primary 'product' that MSR produces is academic research papers, not production software (or even prototypes). they are an academic research lab devoted to doing basic research, not an R&D incubator
From what I can tell, it's in large part because, post-Bell-Labs, nobody else offers a similarly nice job for senior researchers, where you have wide intellectual freedom, a nice salary, and few restrictions on publishing. I assume junior researchers can't just start their own projects, but it seems they let the famous researchers do more or less whatever they want.
That being said, there are a lot of internal libraries or projects written in C/C++ or C#. So I see a lot of those languages. I've also been learning ASP.NET, in part so I can better understand cross site scripting attacks on applications written on that platform.
Taking something from research into a full-fledged product at a company like Microsoft is like turning an aircraft carrier - it has a lot of expensive hardware on deck that has to be kept safe and has to be down slowly given that the seas are shifting constantly.
Street Slide is to Street View what Google Maps was to MapQuest.
The thing is that I very rarely actually want to scroll right along a street, I usually only want to get a visual of the place that I am going.
Now, there have been times where I was interested in going exploring, but not as a matter of utility - just because the street view ui begged me to and I was interested in how it worked.
Having said that, I believe that there is a definite place for something that lets me zoom along in 3d land to explore the entire street - because I would love to be able to explore Paris for example - but that really requires a free form of movement that this solution still doesn't speak to.
But I agree, aside from the playful inclination to go and explore, its never been a big thing for me.
I do that all the time for country roads to plan cycle routes - the current Google interface leaves a lot to be desired.
I feel like I'm constantly trying to use streetview in exactly the way that this thing is doing it; for example if Im looking for a particular location I was at, and I know the street, but I forget the cross street, I want to be able to scan down block after block to find what I'm l ooking for.... esp. since I don't tend to think in terms of address- more in terms of relations of streets and landmarks.
I tend to use the map view for that kind of thing, with the right level of zoom seeing the names of cross roads and that kind of detail is easy and quick.
To each their own however, clearly this will be loved by many.
On the other hand, if there is something cool developed by Google, they will implement it and think about making money later (if it gains traction). Not necessarily because they are altruistic, but because thats how they work.
You will never see something like Google Wave coming out of MSFT; where Google obviously invested a lot of money, opened it up (mostly) for everyone to do what they want and after more than one year in no money is being made and unlikely to be profitable any time soon, if ever.
I think that guy in particular might have ended up at Google, it must be a bit painful to see Microsoft release a demo of this stuff.
"Bio Google::Software Engineer"
Now, will Google Maps engineers be able to perform a similar feat and implement a technology invented at Microsoft?
I never said Google should write something on a Microsoft platform. I implied that Google should implement this Street Slide method in Google Maps and mused as to whether the Google brass would allow them to copy a Microsoft innovation.
You see, within Big Companies there is a common problem where engineers aren't allowed to use competitors' technologies because it hurts the corporate image. No one wants to see "Google copies Microsoft with new Maps feature" headlines, just like no one wants to see "Not even Microsoft engineers are stupid enough to develop for Windows Phone 7" headlines. Some people call this Not Invented Here Syndrome. This is a problem because it's counterproductive. Street Slide should be implemented on the iPhone first. Google Maps should add Street Slide. Hopefully their corporate overlords will have the vision to allow the engineers to do so.
Have you seen Google's search results lately?
The web results and the image search updates have no lack of Bing-ish-ness.
Love the idea otherwise. Very nice experience.
But to your point, there are 2 Starbucks' directly on 1st; one in Pike Place and one just up from the ferry terminal.
I agree, though, that there are an inordinate number of SBUX-owned coffee shops downtown, especially once you factor in the SBCs.
The general idea can be adopted to different use cases. Hope they don't patent it to dead.
Interestingly, multi-perspective push-broom images is essentially how the street-view team got started.
The as-perspective-as-possible transitions could be a lot smoother, but I guess they wanted to minimize the processing power needed, so it can run in-browser etc.
Let me just say thank you to everyone involved in producing that well-written, well-spoken, well-recorded, straight-forward intelligent piece of A/V work.