I stumbled across a preview of an interesting interface for Live Search Maps (or should that be Bing Maps?) today called Virtual Earth Street Side. The screen is split in two, with an eye level “Street View” image occupying the top half, and the map below, onto which is imposed a racing car icon. The car is moved via the keypad, and is able to track the street (at least some of the time) rather than driving over the buildings. Once the street view images are loaded into the browser, the keyboard gives a smooth and realistic driving experience; in my view somewhat better than Google’s Monster Milk Truck.
At the moment San Francisco and Seattle have been treated to this feature. I think it’s pretty slick, and I’d use it as part of my San Francisco decison making exercise – students can drive past their selected location.