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So when we think about Spatial Search, we think about the modes you all go through when you’re out and about, interacting with people and places rather than machines. First, you Explore: you orient yourself. You get a feel for what’s around and figure out your environment. Next, you Discover. Using your senses and visual cues you try and make sense of your surroundings. You look at storefront signage, street signs, and other clues to let you know where you might want to go to get your task done. Finally, you Decide: you take in and process all of the input around you to try and make the best decision for the task at hand. Maybe it’s the opening hours of the dry cleaners (oops – its closed) that tells you that you need to go to the bakery you can smell around the corner until it opens, and hop on their wi-fi network to get some work done while you wait. The challenge for Spatial Search is how we use technology to augment all those tasks, bring context to you so that information transforms into knowledge, which leads to actions taken to make your life easier and more informed.
For Exploring, we’ve made a number of updates to the Bing Maps platform to bring this idea to life through high resolution imagery from outer space all the way down to the front door of the bakery. Today at TED, we’re announcing a next step in this evolution of making this imagery more useful and interactive with the release of the technology preview of the Streetside Photos application. This tech preview mines geo-tagged photos from Flickr, and relates them to our Streetside imagery to show images matched to its original spatial context. Why is this cool? You’re now able to see what that club looks like at night (is it really THAT scary?), see if you’re really going to get a good sunset at that B&B you’re looking to book, or check out the crowds on a Saturday morning at Pike Place Market in Seattle or get a view of the same market from decades prior. As more people share imagery, our challenge is to reunite those photos with where they were taken – again, provide context to the data in the ether. Watch Blaise’s demo to see Streetside Photos in action.
The challenge for Spatial Search is how we use technology to augment all those tasks