Microsoft has just released “ClearFlow” traffic data on Live Maps, but it’s far more interesting than you might think. While it shows the colored traffic speeds in a similar manner as Yahoo, Google and Mapquest, it also goes much deeper.
From Search Engine Land:
In addition to real-time traffic data, the service offers traffic predictions across highways and improved information on secondary routes and surface streets. Horvitz said that this predictive modeling has proven to be very accurate in Microsoft’s ongoing development and refinement of the program. Based on artificial intelligence, as well as dynamic traffic monitoring, ClearFlow appears to be quite a bit more sophisticated that competing systems.
This could easily become the best traffic data on your PC. Of course, therein lies the problem — it’s chained to my PC. It’s very useful to get traffic data when I’m at my desk, but it’s brilliant to be able to get it while I’m on the road.
Here’s what needs happen next:
- Microsoft releases a version of Live Maps Mobile, with similar features to Google Maps Mobile.
- One of them steps up and includes turn-by-turn GPS into their mobile software. GMM is so close to being the killer mobile app. I can get turn-by-turn directions. It can see/follow my GPS. It just won’t tell me how far until my next turn! I have very high hopes for the next version of GMM, but it’s been very quiet on that front lately. A push from Microsoft would be a great thing for us consumers.