This morning Google gave their 2D maps an incredible realworld addition. Its a street-view, that in certain cities, will let you get a street side view of the area you are currently in. This is not just a static, A9-style image. It will also let you move along the street in a smooth manner and even more amazing it will let you change your angle and continue moving that way. This will be formally launched at Where 2.0 later today.
As you can see from my probably-confusing-words above, this is something that you must interact with to really understand. It’s awesome. Go. Check. It. Out. Now.
Where did they get this from? They are working with Immersive Media, a company that has an eleven lens camera capable of taking full, high-res video while driving along city streets. Each captured pixel is geotagged and primed for consumer use. Their main clients up till now have been city planners and the defense industry.
I met with Immersive Media’s CEO Myles McGovern to schedule how company for Where 2.0; as soon as I saw it I knew that one of the larger mapping portals would snatch up their technology. The Google Maps implementation only lets you pan along the ground, but their full viewer lets you look up at the sky as you view their video. You can play with some richer demos on ImmersiveMedia’s site.
Greg Sadetsky of Poly9 tipped me off to this release. He has done quite a bit of technical due diligence on the product. He has deduced that this has been launched in “Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, New York and San Francisco”. When I met with Immersive Media they had many more cities than this mapped, so expect more to come soon. Greg also noticed that they are using “Keyhole Server 2.4″ in the server and wonders if this will be available in Google Earth soon. My bet, yes. He also decompiled the source code for the flash viewer and made several other discoveries list on his blog post. Thanks Greg!
Immersive experiences are coming. Wait till this type of streetviewer is the regular view of your online map instead of just a small window into it.
Update: Michael T. Jones, Chief Technologist of Gogle Earth informs me “Only some of the Street View data is from Immersive, but not all of it. We have our own platforms and also license data from Immersive and others. San Francisco & South Bay are collected by us at greater resolution than Immersive.”
You can learn more about all of this at Where 2.0. Google will be presenting later this morning. Immersive Media will be presenting Wednesday afternoon at Where 2.0. Poly9 will be at the Where Faire this evening.