Addicted to novelty since 2001

Virtually Wander the Streets of Seattle and San Francisco

This is a pretty cool new feature, with possibly the worst name ever. Some folks at Microsoft recently launched the (bear with me) Windows Live Local Virtual Earth Technology Preview (the naming scheme immediately reminded me of this spoof). As I understand it, you can ‘drive’ around Seattle and San Francisco, passing through and panning around a series of photos. Is it spectacular? Not really. It’s it kinda cool? Yes.

A9 has had something similar for a while, but I think the Virtual Earth execution is better. This is only a technology preview, which tends to precede Beta, so I won’t even log feature requests at this time.

UPDATE: Scoble’s got a video on Channel 9 about the release, and here’s more information from the MSN Search team. Apparently it’s actually called ‘Street-Side Drive-by’.

UPDATE #2: While I’m on the subject of Microsoft announcements, they’ve also launched Expo today: “Expo is a dynamic social listing service that allows members to find and sell items, discover information, and meet other parties in their area–all for free!”

2 Responses to “Virtually Wander the Streets of Seattle and San Francisco”

  1. Jeremy

    Y’know, I tried this, and it struck me as almost being pictorial information overload, between all the views. Also, I found it difficult to watch the scenery go by while I was concentrating on steering the car through the city map.

    That having been said, it’s kinda cool, and I can see how MS would want to displace Google Maps with this thing. Being able to navigate a foreign city through recognized landmarks would be great.

    As long as they change the name before it goes to RC1…..

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