Microsoft Live Maps Make for Strange Walks

Live Maps, the blatant attempt by Microsoft to take on and improve upon Google Maps, are in a state of rapid data collection currently. For those who haven’t checked out this new mapping system, it will actually give you a street view of the location you’re looking for. Oddly enough, I had this idea about three years ago and was going to call it streetment.com (still available if you want it) or something, but I realized that I simply did not have the manpower to pull this off because I can’t cover all the streets of San Francisco like they’d need to be covered to make this work. Microsoft however, in their endless pile of money (insert Scrooge McDuck image here) does have the manpower to make this happen though. The end result is that they are in the process of mapping all these streets with guys driving around in cars that have cameras mounted all over them. A slight tinge of 1984? You betcha.
So, yesterday, I was walking along Sansome Street and saw one of these guys turn in front of me to drive up Commercial Street, right past the home of the $40 burrito (Tlaloc). It was a weird sight. Here was this guy in a Toyota Camry, with a sunroof that had a tripod sticking up through it. On top of that was mounted this four-lensed camera, which I assumed was taking pictures of everything as he drove. Then I realized that I was in these shots and at some point, I would appear when people looked at this street. Check it out for Powell Street on their current maps. It’s pretty weird. I doubt that there’s anything you can do about this since it’s legal. Still, it’s weird, but hey, it’s Microsoft and everybody loves dancing monkeys.

One Reply to “Microsoft Live Maps Make for Strange Walks”

  1. yeah, I saw one of these cars the other day and couldn’t figure it out. I thought maybe it was a new rental option from hertz, so that tourists could take pictures without ever leaving the comfort of their car

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