Services like Google Street View and Bing Streetside instantly teleport Web surfers to any street corner from Tucson to Tokyo. However, the panoramic photos these services offer provide only a limited perspective. You can't travel smoothly down a street. Instead, you have to jump from one panoramic "bubble" to the next--not the ideal way to identify a specific address or explore a new neighborhood.
Microsoft researchers have come up with a refinement to Bing Streetside called Street Slide. It combines slices from multiple panoramas captured along a stretch of road into one continuous view. This can be viewed from a distance, or "smooth scrolled" sideways (see video: http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/people/kopf/street_slide/index.html ).
"Today's services plunk you down inside a bubble in a particular location," says Michael Cohen, a senior scientist at Microsoft Research. "[Street Slide] helps you actually navigate using street- side imagery." Cohen developed Street Slide with colleagues at Microsoft; the group's work will be presented at the SIGGRAPH 2010 computer graphics conference in Los Angeles later this week.
MIT Technology Review: http://www.technologyreview.com/web/25880/page1/