Wednesday, April 03, 2019

A Virtual Drive Around Japan

This morning I've been taking a gentle virtual drive around the Shinjuku area of Tokyo. My virtual drive was made possible by 'Map Fan Traveling Image', an interactive map created by Increment P. Increment P is a Japanese mapping company which provides map data for the car navigation system industry. One way in which Increment P collects this mapping data is by driving survey vehicles around Japan. These survey vehicles are fitted with cameras which continuously take still images while they drive.

MapFan Traveling Image is an experimental map which uses these images to provide a 'Street View' type tour of Tokyo. MapFan is currently preparing an API which will provide access to the company's 'street view' images. MapFan Traveling Image is a demo of what this API will provide. At the moment the demo allows you to explore the imagery captured by Increment P's survey cars in the Shinjuku and Ikebukuro neighborhoods of Tokyo. The demo allows you to virtually drive around the two neighborhoods steering the survey car as you go.

If you click play on the street view image on the Traveling Image map you can sit back and watch as the map takes you on a virtual drive around Tokyo. As the images play the map automatically moves to keep you centered on the location shown in the current image. You can change the direction that you are facing by clicking on the arrow on the Street View image. This allows you to either have a 'rear view mirror' view of your journey or a forward looking view. When you are approaching an intersection left and right arrows appear on the Street View image which allow you to steer the car and change direction.

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