Microsoft is partnering with Gigwalk's mobile workforce to add panoramic and 3-D images to its Bing Map search results. "Gigwalk, is a 9 week old California startup, elicits the help of iPhone users, a.k.a. Gigwalkers, to capture images and information about local businesses. In simple words, Gigwalk uses a mobile workforce of iPhone users who download a free app to their phones, and then complete tasks that are offered up via the app, getting paid between $4 and $7 for each 20 minute "Gig", or photo project." Read more about gigwalk here.
Gigwalk has signed up 50,000 Gigwalkers and added 110,000 gigs, and has been rolling out over 100,000 "Gigs", or tasks, signed signed up a few big customers, including Tom Tom and MenuPages. But Microsoft, which recently ran a successful trial of the service in New York, is a big addition for the company.
Microsoft plans to use Gigwalkers to build out its Bing Maps; participating users will use Microsoft's Photosynth app, which offers a powerful set of tools for capturing and viewing the world in 3-D, letting Gigwalkers take 3-D and panoramic photos of retail stores, restaurants, and bars so they can be accurately represented in Bing Maps results.
Gigwalk is currently operating in 8 major US markets: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Miami, and Seattle.
Gigwalk CEO Ariel Seidman said incorporating panoramic photos taken by Gigwalkers will add tremendous value to Bing Maps.
"If you do a query for a restaurant, caf