Bing has launched some changes to its Bing Maps street imagery with Streetside View. "With these updates you can quickly and seamlessly pan the neighborhood, check out a business down the block, or make a 'u-turn' to cross the street, among other things," a Bing representative tells WebProNews "So whether you need to see a straight, flat area in New York, or a steep, winding road in San Francisco, your online mapping experience is more immersive than ever."
"These changes represent a significant enhancement for desktop browsers, enabling you to quickly pan up and down the street to see the neighborhood and find businesses," explains Bing's Chris Pendleton. "We are doing this by providing street level panoramas so you can take a virtual walk through the streets with a view of locations and landmarks. As you slide the street level imagery sideways, the view of the sidewalk is seamlessly constructed including an overlay of business listings, street names and store fronts."
"In the past you explored Streetside imagery by navigating between 'bubbles,' or discrete 360 degree views, and moving down the street was accomplished by jumping from bubble to bubble. This works, but makes it difficult for you to get a sense for a larger area like a city block. Moreover, it’s hard to pick out storefronts farther away since you really only see the ones directly perpendicular to your viewpoint with great clarity," says Pendleton. "This new style, on the other hand, keeps the immersive experience but adds smooth left/right panning navigation that makes it easy to find what’s nearby more quickly. The street flows by as a series of smooth ground-level photographs so now you simply pan up and down the street to see the neighborhood and find what you are looking for."
The street map remains above the imagery, so if you get lost in your streetside journey, you shouldn't have much trouble figuring out where you are. Below the imagery, you will also see an overlay of the names of businesses and bus stops.