Bing announces Read/Write World: expanding connections between maps and imagery

rww-bingBing has been making a steady stream of announcements regarding the connection of maps to images for quite some time now, from geo-located PhotoSynths to Streetside and StreetSlide imagery to live video in maps, the work that Blaise Aguera y Arcas and others at Microsoft have been doing have been breaking new ground.

Today, at Where 2.0, an O’Reilly conference on “the business of location”, Blaise unveiled a next step for an imagery/mapping connection, the Read / Write World.  The Read / Write World is an ambitious project, one that Blaise readily admits is in an alpha stage, and to be honest a bit difficult to explain in a short blog post.  More than just a new feature in Bing Maps, RWW seeks to create a new language (called RML, for Reality Markup Language), and a way to view and consume, in real time and in a way that protects content rights, the world’s geo-linked media.  Here’s how the website describes it:

Today we’re unveiling a major new project in Bing. Technically it’s an indexing, unification, and connection of the world’s geo-linked media. Informally, it’s the magic of:

  • Seeing your photos automatically connected to others;
  • Being able to simply create immersive experiences from your or your friends photos, videos, and panoramas;
  • “Fixing” the world, when the official imagery of your street is out of date;
  • Visually mapping your business, your favorite park, or your real estate for everyone to see;
  • Understanding the emergent information from the density and tagging of media.

The Read/Write World has 3 pillars: Clear Content Rights; Uniform Access and Open Source Viewers; and Real-Time Geo-Services.

One of the videos on the website gives a quick overview of what might be possible with RWW:

[vimeo 22644160]

For a more in-depth look at the Read / Write World, Blaise Aguera y Arcas’s 15 minute talk from today is already up on YouTube, thanks to Where 2.0:


At the conference, Bing also announced today the first of what they are hoping are many partnerships to come, with 360 Cities, the “world’s largest 360 degree panoramic photography community” bringing those incredible panoramas into Read/Write World.

Read / Write World seems to be a culmination of much of what Bing Maps has been doing with imagery, and will not only allow Bing Maps to bring lots of new data into its maps, but also allow for the community to be able to create and share that data in a structured way.  It all sounds pretty dense, but what it boils down to is lots of cool stuff to come!  You can read more on the Bing Maps blog post on Read / Write World.