Feeds

Microsoft promises not-quite-as-much Street View

Seriously?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Microsoft has started collecting images for its version of Google Street View which will be included on Bing's maps in a service called 'Streetside'.

Four cars began prowling the streets of the capital this morning. The Johnny-come-lately snooping service will only cover major towns and cities and will make no attempt to cover the whole country - as Google's Street View aspires to do.

Nor, we guess, will it be "accidentally" collecting and storing information gleaned from your unencrypted Wi-Fi network, as Street View did.

Microsoft's fleet of snoop vehicles is provided by Navteq and will be scouring some streets of the UK until June. Spain, or rather Barcelona, suffers a similar indignity until August, while the streets of Paris will be unsafe until the end of June.

Dallas, Miami, New York, and San Francisco are all US targets.

Along with high resolution cameras the Navteq vehicles will also carry Lidar which scans and captures millions of 1.3 million 3D data points every second.

This scan creates 'point clouds' - essentially a 3D scan which together with GPS means Navteq can provide extremely accurate mapping, it claims.

We're reserving judgement till we see it; but offering a weaker, smaller version of Google's Street View seems like a strange strategy to us.

Images of faces, car number plates will be blurred a la Street View.

A Microsoft spokesman told us: "We're covering the major towns and cities in the UK and should start putting images up in the first or second week of May - depending on the weather."

Once the service goes live people can request removal of their houses or cars.

Microsoft has a page here with dates for Streetside car activities. The software giant will be hoping to avoid the privacy problems which plagued Street View in some countries.

Of course we welcome news from any reader who spots one of the cars and pictures would be even better - but they're going to have to be funnier than the thousands of Street View snaps we received.

We're assuming the Norwegian frogmen are already limbering up for an invasion of Blighty's top tourist spots. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.