Microsoft has filed a patent for hybrid maps with embedded street-side images.
The patent, filed on October 8 and approved last week, relates to a method for allowing street-side imagery to be displayed on a flat 2D map. Both Google and Bing offer street-side imagery of various locations worldwide. The typical irritation with the technology is that users have to scroll around trying to find buildings without and easy overview of the streets in question.
Microsoft’s patent tackles this problem. Spotted by Long Zheng, the software giant is developing a method to project street-side imagery besides both sides of street markings on a traditional 2D map. The system will allow users to glance at a quick overview of streets without having to enter the Streetside feature. Microsoft has previously revealed Street Slide from the software makers’ Research team. Street Slide includes improvements to dynamically view and transition between street imagery.
It’s not clear when Microsoft plans to introduce the improvements to Bing Maps yet but the patents show that the company is considering the technology. Microsoft updated its Bing AJAX Maps control in November to improve load times and performance. The company has also optimized Bing Maps for the mobile web. The latest Bing Maps mobile version includes HTML5 and touch controls.
Microsoft is understood to be hard at work in delivering a full HTML5 Bing experience across their search and maps pages. The new homepage will include animated home pages, smooth transitions and additional animations in search results.