Bing is partnering with a new 9 week old company, Gigwalk, “the first on-demand mobile workforce” to bring 3D Photosynth panoramas of retail stores and restaurants into Bing Maps. Gigwalk uses a mobile workforce of iPhone users who download a free app to their phones, and then complete tasks that are offered up via the app, getting paid between $4 and $7 for each 20 minute “Gig”, or photo project.
Gigwalk is currently operating in 8 major US markets: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Miami, and Seattle. A Business Wire press release quotes Bing Mobile Lead Program Manager David Gedye:
By combining Gigwalk’s tech-savvy mobile force with our popular Photosynth app, we’re able to add immersive panoramas to Bing local search results, so people can accurately see the details of a business such as a store or restaurant,” said David Gedye, lead program manager of Bing Mobile. “Gigwalk’s network delivers high-quality results, often within 24 hours, and that’s hard to beat.
Gigwalk has been rolling out over 100,000 “Gigs”, or tasks, in partnership with a roster of A-List partners, including Tom-Tom and MenuPages. Bing is the latest of those A-listers to join:
For Bing, Gigs use Microsoft’s Photosynth app, which offers a powerful set of tools for capturing and viewing the world in 3-D, letting Gigwalkers take 3-D and panoramic photos of retail stores and restaurants so they can be accurately represented in Bing Maps results.
Bing has been expanding its representation of retail locations, and has long shown an interest in user contributed content, with Photosynth and beyond. Bing Maps recently introducing Shopping Mall maps and a revamped Streetside, showing information and links to retail stores from within the Street Side views, and even hinted of interior retail views, including video, in a couple of demos. Of course we would love to see Gigwalk expand to include Windows Phone, and with the new capabilities included in Mango, maybe it just might!
(Via a tweet from Stefan Weitz)