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About a year and a half ago, uh, Stephen Lawler, who, uh, also gave a talk here at
TED in 2007, on Virtual Earth, brought me over to become the architect of Bing Maps,
uh, which is, uh, Microsoft's, uh, online mapping effort.
In the past year and a half, we've been very hard at work on redefining the way maps work
online and we really are seeing this in very different terms from the kind of mapping and
directions site that, uh, that one is used to.
So, the first thing you might notice about the mapping site is just the fluidity of the
zooming and the panning, which, if you're familiar at all with Seadragon - that's where
it comes from. Mapping is, of course, uh, not just about
cartography; it's also about imagery. So as we zoom in, uh, beyond a certain level,
this resolves into a kind of Sim City-like virtual view at 45 degrees; this can be viewed
from any of the cardinal directions to show you the 3D structure of the city - all the
Um, now we see this space, this three dimensional environment, as being a - a canvas on which
all sorts of, um, applications can, um, can play out and, uh, maps - directions are really
just one of them. If you click on, uh, on this you'll see some
of the ones that we've, uh, put out just in the past, uh, couple of months since we've
launched. Uh... So, for example, a couple of days after
the disaster in Haiti we had a, um, an earthquake map that showed before and after pictures
from the sky. This wonderful one, which I don't have time
to show you is, uh, taking hyperlocal blogs in real time and mapping those stories -
those entries, uh, to the places that are referred to on the blogs. It's, it's, uh,
it's wonderful. Um, but I'm - I'm going to show you some more
candy sort of stuff.
So... um, we, we see the imagery, of course, not stopping at the sky.
Um, these little green bubbles, uh, represent, uh, Photosynths that users have made. Uh,
I'm not going to dive into them either, but Photosynths are integrated into the map.
Everything that's cased in blue is, uh, an - an area where we've taken imagery on the
ground as well. And so when you fly down from the...
When you fly down to the ground, and you see this, uh, this kind of panoramic imagery,
the first thing that you might notice is that it's not just, uh, it's not just a picture;
there's just as much three dimensional understanding of this environment as there is of, uh, of
the three dimensional city from above. So, you know, if I click on something to get
a closer view of it, then the fact that that transition looks as it does is a function
of all of that geometry - all of that 3D understanding behind this model.
Now, um, I'll show you a - a fun app, um, that... uh, we've, um, been working on in
collaboration with our friends at flickr. This takes flickr, uh, georegistered imagery
and, uh, uses Photosynth-like processes to, uh, connect that imagery to our imagery.
So... I'm not sure that's the one I actually meant to, uh, to pull up, but...
(Audience laughing, clapping)
...but notice, um... This is, of course, a popular tourist site and there are lots of
photos around here and, uh, these photos are all taken at different times. Uh, so this
one is taken around 5:00. Uh, so, that's the flickr photo. That's, uh,
that's our imagery. Um, so you really see how, how this kind of
crowd-sourced imagery is integrating in a very deep way into the map, itself.
Now the reason this is interesting...
(Audience applauding) Blaise: Thank you. Um...
There, there are several reasons why this is, why this is interesting and one of them,
of course, is time travel and I'm not going to show you some of the wonderful historic
imagery in here. There's some with horses and carraiges and
so on as well. But what's, what's, uh, cool about this here
is that not only is it augmenting this visual representation of the world with, uh, things
that are coming in from users but, uh, it also is the, uh, is the foundation for augmented
reality. And, uh, that's, uh, something that I'll be
showing you more of in just a moment.
Uh, now I just made a transition indoors. Uh, that's also interesting. Okay, notice
there's now a roof above us. We're inside, uh, the Pike Place Market. And
this is something that we're able to do with a backpack camera.
So we're now not only, not only imaging, uh, in the street, with this, uh, camera on tops
of cars, but we're also imaging, um, inside.
And, uh, from here we're able to do the same sorts of registration, uh, not only of, um,
of still images, but also of video. So this is something that we're going to try,
uh, for the first time, uh, live and it's - this is really truly very frightening.
Okay. (Phone dialing) Ah. (laughs)
Alright, guys, are you there? Hello, Blaise?
Alright. I'm hitting it. I'm punching play. Are we live?
I'm live. Alright, there we go. So, uh, these are our friends in Pike Place Market who are
at the lab.
(Audience erupts in applause)
And, um, they're - so they're, they're broadcasting this live. Okay, uh, George, can you pan...
wait, can you pan back over to the corner of Market, 'cause I want to...
I want to show points of interest. Hey, yo, no, no, the other way.
The other way?
Yeah, yeah. Back to the corner, back to the corner. I don't want to see you guys yet.
Okay. Hold on.
Okay, okay... Back to the corner, back to the corner. Back to the corner... (laughs)
What I wanted to show you was these points of interest over here on top of the image
because what that gives you a sense of is the way, if you're actually on the spot, uh,
you can, you can think about this. This is taking a step in addition to Augmented
What are you... What the hell are you guys doing?
I'm sorry. (Laughs)
We're doing, we're doing, we're doing two different, we're doing two different thing...
Okay, I'm hanging up now.
We're do... we're doing two different things here. One of them, one of them is to, is to
take that, that realt...
(Audience cracks up) (Blaise cracks up)
Alright, let me just take a moment and, and thank the team; they've done an fantastic
job of pulling this together. Um...
Alright. I'm gonna' abandon them, now, and walk back outside.
And while I, while I walk outside, I'll just mention that, um, here we're using this for
telepresence, but you can equally well use this, uh, on the spot for augmented reality.
When you use it on the spot, it means that you're able to bring all of that metadata
and information about the world to you. So here we're also taking the extra step of
also broadcasting it. That was being broadcast, by the way, on a
4G network, uh, from, um, from the market.
Alright, and, uh, now, uh, there's one last TED Talk that Microsoft has given in the past,
uh, several years, uh, and that's Curtis Wong - Worldwide Telescope.
So, we're gonna' head over to the dumpsters, where it's traditional, after a long day at
the market, to go out for a break, but also, stare up at the sky.
Um, this is the integration of Worldwide Telescope...
...into, um, into our maps.
This is, uh, the current... Thank you.
This is the current time. If we scrub the time, then we can see how...
how the sky will look at different times and we can get all of this very detailed information
about, um, different... different times, different dates.
Um, let's, let's move the... the moon a little higher in the sky, maybe change the... change
the date. I would like to kind of zoom in on the Moon.
So, uh, this is, this is a astronomically complete representation of the, of the sky,
uh, integrated right into, um, right into the Earth.
Alright, now, I've, I've overrun my time, so I've got to stop. Thank you all very much.
(Audience cheers and applauds.)
Hi! My name is David Hoffman and I'm here to talk about Blaise's presentation on that
new mapping system. Well I believe in mapping. I mean, I switched
from iPhone to Droid because the mapping is so powerful.
The idea of where you are, what you're doing, what you could do, what was being done before,
who's been there. So I thought what he said and what he showed
was a knock out! I'd love to have it in the mobile space; I'm sure it's headed there.
And I don't use Bing enough, so I'm gonna have to re-examine that.
But I congratulate the folks who made it and the understanding of the user-generated side
of the map being what was critical to the map.
So, thank you.
Hi! I'm Taylor and I just was thrilled to see Blaise's talk yesterday.
Uh, I have some questions about people's privacy because it's the first time that you can really
see people's faces; you could see someone's purse and what color it is.
Uh, it's... the detail level is so incredible. Um, I mean I could probably shop at the fish
market without ever going there - just call them up and see what's on sale.
It's that level of, ah, detail; it's quite amazing.
So, um, very, very, very impressive technology and I cannot wait to start using it!
I've loved maps my whole life. I once had a house that had maps everywhere.
Yesterday, Blaise showed us how we could have the world in our hands - a map to anywhere.
But not just a static map, because the world's live.
A dynamic map where I can have video of my friends in another place superimposed on the
map that I'm looking at. Oh my God. This was so exciting!
This notion of the world in the palm of my hand.
Not on the walls of my house, the palm of my hand, whenever I need it, live video.
Oh my God! That's what TED's about; big ideas like that!