Vacation is Over – Blogging is On – Virtual Earth is Updated
Just returned from a nice, but oh too short vacation. Doesn’t seem like much happened over the weekend, but I will spend some quality time with Google Reader to catch up.
I did notice though that Microsoft updated it Live/Local/Maps/Earth product (god knows what it is really called) with a feature that incorporates the high-resolution aerial bird-eye view photos in the Virtual Earth interface. It looks a lot like 3D photo demo they showed a few months ago. Maybe this is where we see the technology in action for the first time.
I always thought that Virtual Earth was superior to Google Maps in many ways and the 3D in your browser version with actual textured buildings is very well executed (though hungry for both a lot of RAM and a modern CPU). It’s just a shame that it’s coupled to an inferior search engine and that the marketing is muddled by its 23 different names.
If only they also updated their mapping data for the rest of the world now. It’s quite miserable in South America, for example.
There are lots of other updates to Live Maps/Microsoft Maps/Local/Live… Brandon LeBlanc wrote a good summary of those other changes.
From the Virtual Earth blog:
For a peek at what’s coming, I’ll tell you about my favorite new feature – Birds Eye navigation in 3D. Why it’s my favorite is hard to say; it might be because it appeals equally to both sides of my brain. on one hand it is a great bit of engineering excellence and on the other it is a work of interactive art that’s just plain fun to use. For background, its important to understand the challenges of visualizing our Birds eye imagery in a seamless mosaic the way we are all used to looking at satellite imagery that looks straight down at earth.