Saturday, October 27, 2012

Video Driving Directions

Google has applied for a European patent that includes "full-motion video of 360 degrees images, and live feeds from video cameras to provide enhanced driving directions". Microsoft are also working on video driving directions for Bing Maps. You can see a preview of Microsoft's research into video driving directions in this video,



If you can't wait for Google and Microsoft to finish their research into video driving directions then you can check out VidTeq who already have video driving directions in place in Bangalore.


VidTeq perhaps is the best example of how video driving directions should work. Using VidTeq it is possible to enter a start address and destination and then preview a suggested route on a map and a view a video of the journey.

As the video of the route plays arrows are superimposed on top of the video player to indicate when turns are required. Beneath the video the step-by-step directions scroll upwards to reflect the position displayed in the video.

If you want to view video directions on VidTeq then you can use the example directions given below the search box, 'S R & K B to Dhruv Inc'.


Virtual Highway is an experiment by the New Zealand Transport Authority to provide video footage of key travel routes and maps of the New Zealand state highway network.

Virtual Highway doesn't allow users to request driving directions but you can see how video driving directions could be provided by stitching together the required video segments from different roads.


Google's patent application however mentions "full-motion video of 360 degrees images". Streetview.ch is a nice example of how 360 degree panoramic video can work with Google Maps.

Streetview.ch includes a number of video Street Views shot on Switzerland's roads. It is a little like Google's Street View only it uses panoramic videos rather than still panoramic images. As you play a video you can pan it around and look in any direction. As the video plays a marker on the map shows the current location shown in the video.

Again Streetview.ch doesn't have a facility to search for driving directions but again you can see how interactive video driving directions could be provided by stitching together the required video panorama segments from different roads.
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