In yet another Windows Live update coming this week, the Live Local team (formerly VirtualEarth) will release a technical preview at http://preview.local.live.com that demonstrates the new StreetSide feature for two cities: Seattle and San Francisco.
This new feature provides a vivid flythrough experience for the user, especially in the downtown areas that the technical preview focuses on. The user appears seated at ground level, as if they were driving around the map themselves. The preview version aims to provide the team with feedback on the new feature and imagery, which supports the existing road, aerial and birds-eye views that the Live Local service already offers. The small rollout is mainly due to the vast number of images that are needed, reportedly over 10million for Seattle alone.
Although the service is not live yet, we have a split view screenshot of what you can expect to see once StreetSide rolls out later this week. Its a pretty large file so I've included a small preview below.
I can't wait to see what this looks like for the tourist cities such as London, Paris or New York. The chance to relive your holiday via Windows Live, now that is cool!
Edit: Mark Hachman just posted some more details including the release date and time: Today at 12noon PST.