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Saturday, November 3, 2007

Microsoft Live Maps v2 = Google Earth in a Browser

Microsoft released Live Maps v2 on 2007-10-16. I meant to blog about it a while back but did not have the time. This release, codename Gemini, has a lot of nifty features, one of which is the ability to view 3d maps inside a browser (a la Google Earth) — and it works for both IE and Firefox, which I assume it should work for Macs as well (but I don't use Macs so let me know).

Microsoft Virtual Earth (by See-ming Lee 李思明 SML)

Other cool features include:

  • Party Maps = 1-Click Directions. Display directions to get to a destination from multiple starting points to a single end point. Great for party invites.
  • Route Around Traffic. Replot directions based on traffic.
  • Data Import. Import data in GeoRSS, GPX, KML and mashup with Virtual Earth.
  • Birds Eye views in 3D. Birds Eye view has always been unique in Virtual Earth, and it's even more useful to see it in the 3D context, which superimposes the image taken by real-live camera on top of the perspective 3d view.
  • 3D Tours and Videos of Collections. While Google requires users to throw in 400 bucks a year to get the Google Earth Professional account in order to record a video of tours, you can do it in Virtual Earth for free at 640x480 resolution.
  • 3D Modelling. Microsoft partnered with Dassault to allow user-generated 3D buildings using the 3DVIA Technology. Download 3DVIA Technology preview (PC only)
  • Enhanced Details Page. Business listings show specific data about the business. For example, when search for a data, also list their gender, age, medical school, year of graduation, etc.

Details of the release can be read on Microsoft Virtual Earth / Live Maps' official blog

©2007 See-ming Lee 李思明 SML / SML Pro Blog / SML Universe. All rights reserved.

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