There has been much comment around the GI blogosphere about the Microsoft Local Live teams latest development a “street” interface
Although a little difficult to drive (hint – use the shift key to stick to the roads) it is great fun !
This is a really interesting highly interactive interface development, and is yet another example of what can be done with AJAX programming – but really how useful is it.
I really don’t want to come across as critical of the developers here, they are trying new stuff out and developing eye catching applications quickly, but this is in my mind an exciting experiment, and a contrast to a9’s yellow pages approach to providing local information.
Is this the future of local live – i don’t think so
There is good reason while the abstract cartographic representation of spatial data has endured, it is because it produces representations that are easy to use and which are effective at communicating large amounts of geospatial information in one go.
While the street interface local live have developed is fun to use, I would argue it is easier to the traditional “virtual earth’ map or image interface to find local information even though or because it is more abstract.
But as a tool for developing a “sense of place”, communicating those qualitative aspects that make San Francisco feel different to London – then this is fantastic.
Architecture styles, street signs, red buses… all of these visual clues are important aspects of geospatial information we have as an industry ignored until now.
Written and submitted from home, using my home 802.11 network.