Feeds

Microsoft Street Slide: Street View done properly

Take a peep

New hybrid storage solutions

Leaving aside the creepy privacy aspects, Street View is one of Google's most valuable services. The ability to familiarise yourself with somewhere strange, before you arrive, is genuinely useful.

Or rather, it is in theory. Unfortunately, unless you've got extremely lucky, Street View typically fails to plonk you down right where you want to be. Then you have to use the controls, a really tedious hit-and-miss-affair, and you end up wishing you hadn't.

For such a rich trove of information to be presented with such a clunky UI is strange and frustrating, and very un-Googley. Happily, at SIGGRAPH this week Microsoft Research presented a new form of presenting street view imagery, and it's well worth a look.

The "Street Slide" project presents seamless, uninterrupted perspectives as you navigate. Here's what it looks like in action:

The researchers have combined two approaches - the "bubble" view which simulates a panorama from a fixed viewpoint (the approach used today at Google and Microsoft) with multiperspective "strip panoramas", which give more information but lack the sense that you're moving alone.

"Our strip panoramas are created by aligning and overlaying perspective projections of the bubble images oriented towards the street side. Dynamically altering the alignment and visible portions of each image simulates a pseudo-perspective view of the streetside from a distance. Moving along the street thus gives a strong sense of parallax and enhances the sense of immersion."

Since it uses rendering, it uses more GPU time, but it's a much more satisfactory experience.

"Aah, the start of the cycling season"

It reminded me of the famous camera obscura sequence in the movie A Matter of Life and Death, where the village doctor spies on the community - which you can see here or read about here. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Why Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had to go ... Except he hasn't
Silicon Valley's veteran seadog in piratical Putin impression
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.