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Microsoft's Street Slide Electrifies Bing Maps

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There are some features you never knew would be helpful until you see it. This is one of those features.

Right now, Microsoft's Bing Maps are firmly planted somewhere between AOL's MapQuest and a stranger's etches on a Chili's napkin in the public consciousness. Everyone knows they exist but they'd rather settle for the more dependable choice in Google Maps. As such, Microsoft is aiming to add some razzle-dazzle to its seldom used map program to outshine everyone's default choice.

And recently unveiled at LA's SIGGRAPH conference, Street Slide might be that razzle and/or dazzle.

Street Slide offers a panoramic view of the street and the ability to scroll its length from side to side, always maintaining a 90-degree view. Seamlessly transitioned from the typical 360-degree view, the feature also overlays hot spots on the map -- like restaurants or retail shops -- and also incorporates hills into the panorama by changing the angle. Compared to Google's disorienting placement of the stick figure onto the Map to launch Street View, this is a much smoother and cleaner interface.

Although this was just a demo and it's not yet known when and if Street Slide will be implemented, it certainly adds a flashy layer to the navigation aesthetic.

Your move, Google.
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