Bing Maps Part Two: is Streetside now Street Slide?

By Kip Kniskern | Posted May 7, 2011 22 comments

Just now when writing up the previous post on Bing Streetside coming to UK maps, we noticed something quite interesting: our Bing Maps Streetside has morphed into what Microsoft Research has called “Street Slide”:

seattle-streetslide

(You can click on the image for a larger view)

While at first glance this seems very much like a test in progress (in fact some parts of Seattle don’t have Street Slide views at all – the image is just all black), a number of new features are showing up in the new experience.  We’ll list a few observations here, in no particular order:

  1. There isn’t a choice between the old “Streetside” and this new “Street Slide” view
  2. Navigation aids are scarce.  There is a “u-turn” icon at the top left of the image, which turns you around to the other side of the street, but that’s about it.  Jumping to another non-adjacent area requires backing out of “Street Slide”, navigating on the street map, and then jumping back in.  Ie: there’s no “running man” to “fast forward”, as there is in Streetside.
  3. Quite common in the views are chopped up pieces of cars, due to the image overlays.  They’re quite disconcerting.
  4. Bus routes are provided, a nice touch.  In our current implementation, they’re not linked (say to a schedule).
  5. You can move from street to street by clicking on the blue linked street names, but still not as easy to navigate as Street Side
  6. The merchants names (you get a longer list when applicable, via “view more” – currently although there are scrollbars they don’t appear to work) link you to an instant answers type page for the merchant, taking you out of the map completely, again a bit jarring.
  7. You can’t navigate by moving the black circle/blue dot in the map portion at the top of the image, it only shows you where the view is situated.  Instead you have to go through the back button, choose a new location, re-enter Street Slide process.
  8. We turned off Silverlight just to make sure, and Street Slide isn’t using the plugin (while we at one time had the HTML5 version of Bing, we don’t now)

Street Slide, while it seems to leave a lot to be desired on a desktop, may prove to be a much better experience on a phone or mobile device, where screen real estate is at a premium.

Are you seeing Street Slide imagery?  What do you think?

Posted May 7th, 2011 at 11:47 am
Category: Bing
Tags: Bing, Maps, Street Slide, StreetSide
  • boohoohooooo

    seeing it in nashville. its far from perfect, but at least they are taking the focus off the road and cars directly in front… which is of no interest to users. the focus is moved to the side view where it shoudl be.

    looking forward to more polish on this.

  • boohoohooooo

    seeing it in nashville. its far from perfect, but at least they are taking the focus off the road and cars directly in front… which is of no interest to users. the focus is moved to the side view where it shoudl be.

    looking forward to more polish on this.

  • Anonymous

    The experience is far less immersive, but I understand the point. The attempt is to provide more useful information and less “walking in the city” and load time. Currently, I’m not fully convinced by the system as it’s difficult to “walk” as you’d normally do in a street. The point is that nobody really use StreetView anyway. Microsoft, at least, try to find something that could make it useful!

    • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

      @FremyCompany:disqus It is difficult to walk…

  • FremyCompany

    The experience is far less immersive, but I understand the point. The attempt is to provide more useful information and less “walking in the city” and load time. Currently, I’m not fully convinced by the system as it’s difficult to “walk” as you’d normally do in a street. The point is that nobody really use StreetView anyway. Microsoft, at least, try to find something that could make it useful!

    • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

      @FremyCompany:disqus It is difficult to walk…

  • http://twitter.com/Henryed07 Henry Edwards

    I think it’s a very cleaver thing. Very useful if looking for something. Plus it’s very quick to load and move unlike google maps and google street view. I think it would be good to be able to move between Streetside and Streetslide

    • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

      @twitter-29172119:disqus Now moving between the two would be great…

  • henryed07

    I think it’s a very cleaver thing. Very useful if looking for something. Plus it’s very quick to load and move unlike google maps and google street view. I think it would be good to be able to move between Streetside and Streetslide

    • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

      @twitter-29172119:disqus Now moving between the two would be great…

  • Anonymous

    It’s a really good idea, and I find it pretty useful if I were searching for a business, but in times when I just want to simply explore I would much rather have Streetside, otherwise I will just have to use Google Streetview.

  • Omen1337

    It’s a really good idea, and I find it pretty useful if I were searching for a business, but in times when I just want to simply explore I would much rather have Streetside, otherwise I will just have to use Google Streetview.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mendel-Jedwab/1648947199 Mendel Jedwab

    I can see why they would make such a change. StreetView/Side is extremely cool, but no one actually found it helpful, did they? This is more about finding than exploring.
    Regarding the jarring page change when you click a business name, if you watch the sidebar when you click on one, a load icon appears, so obviously its going to change.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mendel-Jedwab/1648947199 Mendel Jedwab

    I can see why they would make such a change. StreetView/Side is extremely cool, but no one actually found it helpful, did they? This is more about finding than exploring.
    Regarding the jarring page change when you click a business name, if you watch the sidebar when you click on one, a load icon appears, so obviously its going to change.

  • http://doctorwhofan98.wordpress.com/ doctorwhofan98

    Weird name.

  • http://alexsimkin.tumblr.com/ Alex Simkin

    Weird name.

  • http://www.realestateactive.com/ Ben Estate

    Posts like this allows Bing to further enhance their map quality and reliability. Overtime, it is hoped that bing will be finishing it just like no other.

  • http://www.realestateactive.com/ Ben Estate

    Posts like this allows Bing to further enhance their map quality and reliability. Overtime, it is hoped that bing will be finishing it just like no other.

  • Ben

    The 3D “streetside” is still there, at least for me. If I visit the silverlight-requiring
    http://www.bing.com/maps/explore
    I get the 3D version, if I visit
    http://www.bing.com/maps
    I get the 2D version mentioned here. Better than having no street view for the more basic maps, I guess.

  • Ben

    The 3D “streetside” is still there, at least for me. If I visit the silverlight-requiring
    http://www.bing.com/maps/explore
    I get the 3D version, if I visit
    http://www.bing.com/maps
    I get the 2D version mentioned here. Better than having no street view for the more basic maps, I guess.

  • JGrode

    Seeing this too — woah, this is big change. Strafing up and down blocks to explore is really fast vs Streetview. I feel like my foot isn’t nailed to the floor anymore. Image quality is lower though – lots of funny artifacts.

  • JGrode

    Seeing this too — woah, this is big change. Strafing up and down blocks to explore is really fast vs Streetview. I feel like my foot isn’t nailed to the floor anymore. Image quality is lower though – lots of funny artifacts.