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The future of maps and augmented reality

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http://www.downloadsquad.com – Filed under: Fun, Internet, web 2.0 Augmented reality is one of those nebulous buzz phrases. Depending on who you ask or where you are, it can mean almost anything -- but one thing's for sure, no one's really sure what it means. The general idea is that there's 'more than meets the eye.' Your boring, fleshy optical orbs see a restaurant, but augmented reality can show you reviews of that restaurant, or the best dishes to eat there. Augmented reality has the potential to make life more interesting. In the same way that the Internet has brought about a revolution of knowledge, augmented reality is probably the next step. Considering we've hunched over our Internet-enabled computers for twenty years, I think it's about time we head back outside -- and, because the real world is ultimately boring, we're taking the Internet with us in the form of augmented reality. Case in point: check out Bing Maps. You MUST have Silverlight installed -- don't bother otherwise. Now... start zooming in. Click the blue person, and go down to 'street view'. Pretty awesome, yes, but nothing special -- now click 'Map Apps' -> 'Streetside Photos.' You can now see photos from Flickr superimposed on the street view. As you can see from the screenshot I've used above, there's historical imagery available too! Now play around with the other Map Apps... <insert an hour of Sebastian giggling and smiling like a loon> Impressed yet? Well, I'm just parroting the video of Blaise Aguera y Arcas at the TED convention last week (video is embedded below). It's actually a follow-up from his photosynth presentation back in 2007, and damn it's exciting to see how far things have come in such a short time! Click around on the Silverlight version of Bing Maps, and if you're not suitably impressed, just watch the video to get an idea of what's to come -- scroll through to four minutes; that's when it gets really cool. The future of maps and augmented reality originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 26 Feb 2010 14:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.Read | Permalink | Email this | Comments (General)