Street views in a map

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Very cool street views of a city in this preview from the Microsoft Virtual Earth team.

Currently only portions of Seattle and San Francisco are available. Yes, this is just a technology preview. It’s cool though.

Someone asked how I might use a service like this? Simple. If I’m going to visit an area that I’m unfamiliar with, it would be handy to be able to tell what the area is like. For instance, will my walk from a convention center hotel to to a local restaurant be an easy walk through an area that I’d feel comfortable walking through? At night? What does a restaurant look like from the outside? What does the parking look like for the restaurant (if I’m driving)? What does the area look like that I might be planning on meeting someone at?

I wonder when real-time video for specific intersections or points of interest is coming? Hmmm.