Microsoft’s Live.com is launching a preview version of a new service called Street-Side today (link will be live around 12 PST today). Street-Side will augment the Live Local service and give street level views of the entire city. Searches can be made by address or business name, and you can “drive” around the city using the arrow keys. See the screen shot below for a visual.
See Robert Scoble’s Channel 9 Video for his interview with the team.
The service will initially target San Francisco and Seattle only due to the massive number of images needed to support make it work (rumors are 10 million + images per city).
The Live.com team sent out an email to journalists that includes the following information:
* Today we are announcing our new street-side initiative for Windows Live Local and a Technical preview of the new street-side feature.
* The street-side initiative is a key part of our vision to deliver an immersive digital representation of the real world that enables users to know their surroundings, find what they are looking for and know how to get there.
* The new street-side feature augments the current map view, aerial view, and bird’s eye view that the Windows Live Local site already has today to provide users with an even more immersive way to explore their local environment.
Live.com continues to crush competiting ajax homepage competitors (see link for Alexa chart). Services like Street-Side will make it even harder for others to compete.