Microsoft belatedly trying to knock Google off its street-snapping perch
About a year and a half after they should realistically have started, Microsoft are sending cars out all over the place to take photos and create a pictorial map of the UK and Europe. Yes, exactly like Google’s Street View. Except they’re doing it now. Like, whatever.
They’re calling it ‘Streetside’ and the project will be part of the Microsoft’s Bing search engine. It’s already available in the USA and now a gang of cars are marauding around London, snapping this and that, with the rest of the UK to follow.
Microsoft’s saving grace could be their attempt to gain the moral high ground, with Google having fallen foul of various privacy regulations as they gathered pictures and data as part of the Street View project.
Microsoft say that before they begin photographing in towns and cities, they’ll be placing adverts in local papers, outlining what they’re up to and providing contact information for anyone who has any concerns. The UK Streetside website already contains such info.
Streetside will launch in the UK in the next few months, although Microsoft say it could take up to two years for the whole of the UK to be mapped. We predict that if these trends continue, 65% of traffic on UK roads will be street-mapping photography cars. By about the year 3061.