Panoramic photos of streets are now standard in online and mobile maps, with Google Street View being the most well-known example. Bing has its own version of 3D streetside photos layered on top of maps, but soon it will start adding the ability to go inside buildings and look around thanks to a partnership with EveryScape. The feature will be called “Interior Views” and it will allow people to visually explore local businesses and other buildings. It will appear as an option next to local search results when available. You can check out an example of what the technology looks like for this mall in San Francisco.
EveryScape has been working on the technology for years and raised $6 million last February to pursue go after the interior photo mapping space more aggressively. EveryScape charges local businesses to photograph their interiors and put them on a map. Now that will be an easier sell with the Bing Map partnership.
For this to really take off, however, EveryScape needs to get Bing to pay it to start creating interior views of popular places. (And maybe that is part of the deal, I don’t know). Otherwise, the feature will never be triggered. It needs to become part and parcel of exploring these maps, and would be particularly helpful on mobile phones. There will be a “Step Inside” icon whenever they are available. But if you thought that Street View raises some privacy concerns, wait until people start seeing themselves in these photos.
EveryScape allows companies to create photo-realistic, 3D interpretations of real-world locations. The locations are then crossed with Google Maps, and users can navigate throughout the city and jump to famous or historical locations. Current locations include major US cities like New York, Boston, and Miami along with far-flung locations like Beijing.
Bing is a decision (search) engine from Microsoft officially announced on May 28, 2009. It combines technology from the Farecast and Powerset acquisitions, as well as new algorithms and a more colorful page design, to attempt to understand the context behind the search, which Microsoft claims gives users better results. Bing as a brand is also an attempt to eliminate the confusion caused by Microsoft’s “Windows Live” branding. Bing is now everything “search” related, whereas Windows Live encompasses the remnants...