No Excuse for Ever Getting Lost Again

by · August 4, 2010

It seems as though Microsoft is about to take on Google Maps, and based on their demo video, I like what I see. Microsoft Research unveiled its Street Slide at a conference last week, showing off some very cool features that make Google’s Street View seem antiquated (even though it is very new). Take a look at the demo of Street Slide and then the one of Google Street View and you will see what I mean.

Now let’s be honest, both of these are very cool applications that take maps to a whole new level. With so many people having smart phones and iPads, using one of these applications (in a city where it is available) makes it nearly impossible for you to get lost. As someone who is not known for his sense of direction, this is very exciting. There have been countless times I was wandering a new city and the paper map they gave me at the hotel doesn’t seem to be accurate. And of course, even when turning to Google, I have had way too many instances where street names don’t match. Having the ability to compare building facades, stores front and do a complete 360 of what is around makes getting your orientation so much easier.

Of course, once you do manage to figure out where you are, with the interactive features you will be able to find out information about important buildings (“this looks important, what is it?”), restaurants and shops. And don’t forget to use your foursquare account to check-in to the places you discover.

There are definitely more players in the digital maps space than Google and Microsoft, such as MapQuest, but they seem to be the most innovative right now. I look forward to seeing if Street Slide is added to Bing in the near future and also look forward to seeing how Google plans to keep up. With all this progress in digital maps, hopefully there will no longer be a need for this:

I am not lost. We are right here.

Post By Brian Wesolowski (137 Posts)

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  2. David Banes says:

    These types of technologies have huge benefits for seniors and people with a disability, technologies that prompt and locate are extremely helpful for the easily confused regardless of age, and contribute signifcantly to personal safety

    There area couple of accessibility features that would be nice, one of which is to ensure that the locations and tags can be spoken as well as viewed, speech output also makes this useful on a phone when you can keep your phone safe in a pocket in a crowded street.

    The second feature is more interesting, one of the nice things about GPS systems has been the generation of user content to add place of interest to maps. One example would be to tag accessible toilets, another might be accessible routes. For instance as a wheelchair user you might really apprecaite a route to see the Trevi Fountain in Rome, but would probably appreciate that route avoiding a bumpy journey down the Spanish Steps !

    These personal mobilty aids have great potential,a ndwith a city that is gorwing and changing like Doha, the ability to update frequently is a remarkable benefit

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