Bing StreetSide – New level of Street Fighting

Have you ever heard about “Bing StreetSide”? Reading this my first thought was like “wait a minute, is it the same as Google Street View?” Curious, I started inquiring about that topic and found some interesting facts; one of them, that Bing StreetSide is Microsoft’s answer to Google Streetview with some additional/improved features…   

The first page I stumbled across was from SEO, a 2007 founded Pakistan Web and Search Engine Optimizing company “with main focus on search engine optimization and search engine marketing, social media optimization, blogging as well as providing customers with high quality, banner ads, display advertisements, content writing services and online promotion”. Here I learned the basics about Microsoft’s StreetSide.

Generally speaking, it offers you a virtual tour through a city you choose. In the past user were only able to jump from “bubble” to “bubble”; there were only particular points where you could see the street and its surroundings. Now, according to SEO, you can virtually walk through the street and Bing will upload the surrounding area immediately to enable a smooth crossover of pictures. If you want to check out a street to your left or right, just click the corresponding link. As you can see in the picture, right next to the street name is a tiny symbol that allows you to do a U-turn. Additionally, above that picture you see a map, which shows you where you are from the bird-eye perspective by displaying all the sounding streets.

But there’s another important aspect one has to mention. In his blog Chris Pendleton, who is the Lead Program Manager for Bing Maps Developer, describes the feature as follows:   “Right below the images you will see an overlay of the names of businesses and bus stops, reducing clutter and providing location context.”

This is when I realized that companies can profit from that, since showing the names of companies and brands helps them to advertise. To deepen my knowledge I did some google blog search and finally found Livebookings, “Europe’s largest online marketing and reservations service for the restaurant industry.”

They explain that restaurants can use StreetSide as a marketing tool. Comparing Google Street View and Microsoft StreetSide they describe that both map services provide a 3D image of the restaurant. In contrast to Street View StreetSide will probably add a location based advertising to its 3D maps soon, but so far they don’t know exactly how this is supposed to look like. Moreover they present that StreetSide enables people to virtually check out the inside of the restaurant. To see how that works and looks like they provide the following link to the IvyRestaurant in Boston. Another feature SEO mentions is that people will be able to read the menu and comments regarding the restaurant by clicking the given links.

Thinking about this concept you will note that this should successfully work for other businesses, too. Furthermore the only thing companies have to do is register.

Final thoughts…

It seems like Google has a strong business rival. In May the Streetside car went through Germany and other European countries. Right now Streetside can’t offer as many cities as Street View, but its new concept is still in the starting blocks… I don’t know if StreetSide will become more popular than Street View in the future. Nevertheless one has to admit that their potential, their improved maps and the additional advertising they offer companies can be quite intimidating to Google Street View.

Anyhow, let’s wait and see what the future brings.

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5 thoughts on “Bing StreetSide – New level of Street Fighting

  1. After reading your post , I think that either StreetSide will dominate over Street View or Google will merge (buy?) with StreetSide.
    Obviously, StreetSide offers more: not only the view of a street, but also, what one can find “INSIDE” the street.
    The only thing, is that most of people use on google habitually and once there is a need to find a street, we are more liklely to opne Google map, rather than a new searcher. But again, this is just a question of time.

    Google for example has a new application, called – Transportation for America’s Dangerous by Design 2011. It shows car accidents around 60 miles of any address you type.
    Possibly, that these two map searchers – Street View and Street Side will compete until one has nothing new to show )

    A great Post with useful links!

  2. Hi Franzi!! 🙂

    I didn’t even know there was a think as StreetSide…. M;icrosoft competing against Google…. quite a battle.

    It was quite intersting to read about the difference between StreetSide and StreetView, but I think that these applications are very similar nonetheless.
    Of course, as you have said, marketing opportunities might be better with Microsoft StreetSide.

    Here is a link which is presenting the marketing opportunities of Google StreetView:
    http://blog.picturemarketing.com/2011/05/google-street-view-takes-a-step-inside/

    I think both applications will help to improve marketing.

    Thank You,

    Sophie 😀

  3. Pingback: Second Review: Blogging | A Girl's Business

  4. Well, how interesting. Never knew there was anything similar to Google Street View. Immediately motivated by your blogpost, I tried to go to Bing Streetside. Soon I realized how inconvenient it is to reach to the page. Especially if we compare this the the easy handling of Google street view. We basically all work via Google Search Engine so Google Street View is only a “Click” away.

    I also keep myself asking whether we as those being photographed can decide about our house being displayed or not. That has already been a huge battle at Google so will Microsoft follow?

    In a business kind of respective I totally agree to your arguments though. Also you have a nice and informative way of writing. Enjoyable 🙂 Something else is enjoyable too. Maybe you want to take a look at this funny video (indeed, it is taken by Google Street View but Microsoft will receive similar results I bet)

    Nadja 🙂

    • Hey Nadja!
      Thanks for your comment. 🙂
      To your question: “I also keep myself asking whether we as those being photographed can decide about our house being displayed or not. That has already been a huge battle at Google so will Microsoft follow?”
      Actually they was a debate going on and many people complained, therefore Microsoft agreed so that people have the chance to decide whether their house should be displayed or not. People can enter objections between August and September 2011, thus even before StreetSide is launched (in Germany).
      Where I read that? http://www.n-tv.de/technik/Streeside-ist-vorab-zu-stoppen-article3540101.html
      I hope I could help.

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