Microsoft Streetside Will Arrive in Europe Soon

Microsoft has begun photographing Europe with its camera cars. The service is called Streetside and has been available in the US since December 2009. The service is described as being a direct competitor to the popular Google StreetView service.

Microsoft set out camera cars yesterday in London to capture images of the streets and map them in to a virtual world. When the camera cars have finished in London, they will then start tackling major cities across Europe although Microsoft is taking a slightly different approach in that it will only capture major cities and attractions rather than every single road across Europe like Google does.

One of the bigger problems that Google has faced is that of privacy. A number of countries have complained about Google for privacy reasons due to the relaxed privacy rules they use. Rather than getting permission to capture the photos, they capture the pictures and then you request for them to be removed if you wish. There was also the issue of WiFi data being grabbed as Google went around the streets.

Microsoft will take a similar approach, but is also advertising when and where it will be capturing pictures. For those in Germany, you will get the option to opt-out before the pictures are taken. We assume that some kind of tracking technology will be used that will decide not to capture a picture, or not to capture a picture if the co-ordinates match that of a complaint.

We don’t know how well Streetside will do just yet, but StreetView has proved to already be popular and if Microsoft choose not to create a similar service, they potentially lose out to a lot of customers. One thing that might hurt them is the option to capture big cities only. Perhaps this stance will change when the waters have been tested and Microsoft find if they are on to something big or not.

Source: NeoWin

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