Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Microsoft's StreetSlide, an improvement on Google's Street View?

Microsoft's StreetSlide is an improvement proposed by Microsoft researchers on the now very popular panorama-based Google Street View and Bing StreetSide (the latter being another Microsoft creation). While these two applications offer a great solution for egocentric, photorealistic navigation, they are obstructed by limited perspective and also motion which is anything but smooth.

Proposed in a SIGGRAPH 2010 paper, StreetSlide attempts to resolve these problems by allowing the user to slide along the facades looking for POIs and zoom back into a 'classic' StreetSide-type view at any time. The user can also flip the viewpoint to see the other side of the street or even turn corners onto new streets, as can be seen in the video above.

The creators of StreetSlide highlight the impact the application can make, particularly on a mobile device as it can broaden out the visual sense to cover a two-block radius. An iPhone version has already been created. Other improvements include space at the bottom of the screen for additional info, ranging from advertising to social networking information. Initial evaluation also suggests (N=20) that users can find a variety of places on unfamiliar streets 17 seconds faster on average using Street Slide, as opposed to Google's Street View.

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