Feeds

Microsoft Street Slide: Street View done properly

Take a peep

Security for virtualized datacentres

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. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.