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Virtual Earth 3D Beta Launched 188

Posted by Zonk
from the really-great-globe dept.
Lord Satri writes "Microsoft has announced the launch of Virtual Earth 3D. There are numerous screenshots to be seen, as well as a Google Earth comparison from Spatially Adjusted. You can read the Google Earth Blog on why he thinks it's not a threat to Google. C|Net's coverage and the official press release provide lots of concrete details of the product. You can also read more from the development side or see the CBS report on Virtual Earth 3D. My main gripe: Windows and Internet Explorer 6/7 only. From the official press release: 'When people visit Live Search, type a query into the search box and click the "Maps" tab, they get their search results in a map context that offers the option to explore the area using two-dimensional views (aerial and bird's-eye) or three dimensional models with Virtual Earth 3D. This new technology compiles photographic images of cities and terrain to generate textured, photorealistic 3-D models with engineering level accuracy.'"
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Virtual Earth 3D Beta Launched

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  • by Salvance (1014001) * on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @12:15PM (#16752431) Homepage Journal
    Every once in a while, Microsoft does something right ... or at least releases something cool. When I plugged in my address (which is kind of in the middle of nowhere), up popped 3 different viewing angles of my house. Pretty detailed shots too, and in one you could even see me mowing the lawn in the backyard! I had lots of fun with this one.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Da Fokka (94074)

      Pretty detailed shots too, and in one you could even see me mowing the lawn in the backyard!


      p.And this doesn't even concern you a little bit?
    • by jdray (645332)
      There was a news story about it last night (can't remember the source). Anyhow, on the studio's gazillion-inch plasma display, it looked pretty cool.
    • ...how often Google Maps/Earth updates their satellite photos. When I zoom in on my place, I can see the house next door that was demolished 3+ years ago. The sad part: I like that house better than mine.

      * * * * *

      What happens if a big asteroid hits Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad.
      --Dave Barry

      • by xtracto (837672)
        Well that is not all, not so long ago I was planning a trip to Birmingham and while looking for the bullring [virtualbrum.co.uk] I was amazed to see that it had been destroyed [google.co.uk]..

        Fortunately for me, it seems the pictures at google were wrong, as when I arrived I could get into the place withour problems.
      • by HTH NE1 (675604)
        Makes me wonder... ...how often Google Maps/Earth updates their satellite photos.

        Around here, new satellite photos aren't taken until the city decides they want to rework the roads for an area. My workplace was a developed lot without any construction until they proposed redoing some intersections. The whole city got new images taken then. The surrounding countryside (farming) is still low-res.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by PrayingWolf (818869)
      Every once in a while, Microsoft does something right ... or at least releases something cool.

      I think you meant to say: "Every once in a while Micro$oft copies someone else's idea and tries to get all the credit".
      This plagiarism seems to be the only form of R/D M$ does - and it makes me sick!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Kuciwalker (891651)
        Google Earth wasn't developed at Google, either. They bought the company that developed it.
        • by sgt scrub (869860)
          I think you meant to say: "Every once in a while Micro$oft copies someone else's idea and tries to get all the credit".
          This plagiarism seems to be the only form of R/D M$ does - and it makes me sick!


          I'm looking for the word Google. Was it mis-spelled?
    • by omicronish (750174) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @01:06PM (#16753323)

      Every once in a while, Microsoft does something right ... or at least releases something cool. When I plugged in my address (which is kind of in the middle of nowhere), up popped 3 different viewing angles of my house. Pretty detailed shots too, and in one you could even see me mowing the lawn in the backyard! I had lots of fun with this one.

      Actually, I think it is a threat. I use Live Local/Virtual Earth almost exclusively. Here's why (adapted from a post I wrote in a previous story that didn't get much attention):

      • Live Local has better controls. It was the first to add mouse wheel scroll zooming, which Google Maps has added. (I don't mind the copying, though; the more the merrier!) I can't live without the middle-click, box zooming, though. From a globe view I can zoom to my house in a few seconds with Live Local's box zooming.
      • Directions between arbitrary points: Right-click anywhere to select the From and To points to find directions. Google Maps requires that I type in addresses. Problem is that I don't know the address of Paradise point at Mt. Rainier National Park [live.com], and Google Maps can't seem to find it. Note that Yahoo Maps expands upon this by letting you add waypoints, but it's too slow for me.
      • Bird's Eye view [birdseyetourist.com]. Images are taken from an airplane, so detail is awesome.
      • I can perform up to 3 simultaneous map searches. This means I can see the locations of all Safeways, libraries, and CompUSAs on the same map [live.com]. Useful if you intend on going to multiple places when driving.
      • Live Local's direction finding seems more capable than Google's. I can find directions from Glasgow, UK to Palermo, Italy [live.com].
      • Live Local has better sharing features. You can create collections of places and share them on Live Local. This might be a silly example, but some friends visited Seattle recently and wanted suggestions on places to visit. I made a collection of places for them [live.com]. You can add text, images, and URLs to places on a collection, and viewers of a collection can generate driving directions between any of its places (as well as any other arbitrary point). Google has auto-saving of locations (which was added after Live Local's collections), but as far as I can tell, it does not permit sharing or customization of locations.
      • UI is more customizable. Live Local's panels are removable, yielding more visible map area than Google Maps. You can't turn off the "example searches" pane in Google.

      Of course it has downsides:

      • Performance is worse than Google Maps. On my 1.7 GHz 512 MB RAM laptop, Live Local causes the fan to spin up far more often than Google Maps.
      • Color scheme is uglier in some places (compare Tokyo road view in both Google and Live).
      • Google Maps' satellite view is considerably more detailed and updated in some places, including Shanghai, Pyongyang, Ho Chi Minh City. MS appears to be countering this with Bird's Eye view, but the two are just not the same.
      • I'm not sure all its features are supported in Firefox 1.5 and below; can someone confirm? But it does work in Firefox 2.0.

      If you're interested in looking at satellite imagery, Google is the better choice. But if you want to find places and get directions to them, and share those places with people, I believe Live is far better.

      • Color scheme is uglier in some places (compare Tokyo road view in both Google and Live).

        This is /. Around here we don't care about ugly colourschemes.

      • I can perform up to 3 simultaneous map searches. This means I can see the locations of all Safeways, libraries, and CompUSAs on the same map [live.com]. Useful if you intend on going to multiple places when driving.

        And if you happen to have continuous broadband internet access while driving.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Instine (963303)
      This is NOT very cool.
      Its google earth (which was cool, until everyone realized its no more use than google maps). On a web page. BUT as you have to download a whole heap of crap, that makes it no better than an activeX wrapper, for the Google earth API.
      But what really f'ed me off is that it changed my home page to windows live!!!! Grrrr.
      • by admdrew (782761)
        But what really f'ed me off is that it changed my home page to windows live!!!! Grrrr.

        Did you not read the option to change your home page during the installation? Sure, it defaulted to true, but it was pretty easy to spot and uncheck.

    • Every once in a while, Microsoft does something right ... or at least releases something cool. When I plugged in my address (which is kind of in the middle of nowhere), up popped 3 different viewing angles of my house. Pretty detailed shots too, and in one you could even see me mowing the lawn in the backyard! I had lots of fun with this one.

      Well, when I plugged in my adress; The location it put the pushpin is two houses down and across the street (Google's is precisely in the middle of my porch), and the

  • Windows only (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pubjames (468013) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @12:16PM (#16752453)

    I tried to test this but it is for IE explorer only. So Google wins by default.
    • by dave420 (699308)
      ... for the 20% non-Windows, non-IE users out there, sure.
      • Re:Windows only (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @12:48PM (#16753015)

        ... for the 20% non-Windows, non-IE users out there, sure.

        And for more than that. Half the time when I'm looking at something like this, I am doing so to send it to someone else or at least want the option of so doing. If there is a 20% failure rate every time I do that, well that is a significant problem, regardless of which browser I use.

        • by dave420 (699308)
          And you're in the minority. Most of those 80% of win/IE users don't know of or want to send stuff like this to non-win/IE users, so again, it's rather a moot point for the vast, vast majority of users. I was just pointing out that the OP's message sounded like he was in the majority, when he isn't. Most of the mums and dads out there flying around the place looking at stuff don't give a rats ass it doesn't run on ObscureLinuxDistro 1.0 or even OSX - it works for them, and so is just as accessible as some
          • And you're in the minority.

            Perhaps, perhaps not, depending upon who this is targeting. You can't assume that because 80% of people use Windows and IE that 80% of the people that would use a given Web service will use Windows and IE. It may be more and it may be less. The interoperability is a consideration, because maps are often used collaboratively. This is not as bad as e-mail that fails for 20% of the population, but it is worse than something like an online recipe site that works for 80% of the popu

      • by pubjames (468013)
        ... for the 20% non-Windows, non-IE users out there, sure.

        That happens to include a lot of the tech elite...
      • by finkployd (12902) *
        That number is also growing, not declining.

        Finkployd
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by aclarke (307017)
        Yeah, but we're the TOP 20%. And we won't let you forget that :-)
      • by Foofoobar (318279)
        Well when you are the underdog in a market (like search), doesn't it make more sense to pander to the largest audience possible??? By deliberately ignoring a 20% of the market, they are causing those people to default to Google leaving them to fight over the remaining 80% with the dominant search company who is going to get that remaining 20% because they CAN! First rule of business in any market is reach the largest audience possible and when there is already a dominant company in the market, to be able t
    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by westlake (615356)
      I tried to test this but it is for IE explorer only. So Google wins by default.

      but not among the 80-90% of users for whom IE remains the default browser.

      • Wow, that's so 2005, IE now has under 75% market share and falling. MSIE market share is even lower in Europe.
      • by Ucklak (755284)
        80-90% of those users won't know or even care about this application as the search criteria and counterintuitive UI is difficult to use.

        If MySpace uses it then it's a go.
    • by Dahamma (304068)
      I tried to test this but it is for IE explorer only. So Google wins by default.

      I tried to install it on XP with IE and just get the error "Could not access network location %APPDATA%" - had to cancel the installation. I'm not even sure it's meant for IE ;)
    • by Columcille (88542) *
      In order to do 3d viewing with Google you must install their specialized program: Google Earth. In order to do 3d viewing you must install their specialized program: IE with their 3d viewing add-on. How are these things different? People just like to gripe about IE, but this isn't any different than what you have to do to view 3d with google.
  • I run Google Earth under Linux. Will this new offering provide an alternative? (Let me guess - NO WAY!)
  • I want to try it, can someone post the direct link for the Linux client?

    Or the torrent!
  • by Cybert4 (994278) *
    SELF. Nothing else matters. Period.
  • by green pizza (159161) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @12:20PM (#16752519) Homepage
    Why does Microsoft feel theatened by certain markets? I don't understand why they feel they have to compete with everything, even "markets" where there is little or no money to be made. How much money could Microsoft ever make from Virtual Earth? Why does Microsoft feel it has to compete in the games and music world when it is already making huge amounts of money selling software to 90 - 95% of the computer world?
    • by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @12:30PM (#16752709)
      Bill Gates (and by extension I suspect much of Microsoft) is very worred about missing the "next big thing" and being left in the dust. The history is that IBM gravely under estimated the PC revolution and handed it over to Microsoft, so Microsoft doesn't want to get shafted like they did to IBM. I agree this particular application doesn't seem very important, but Microsoft may be concerned in general about losing ground as an applications service provider. Apparently this new thing is based on ActiveX so personally I hope it is an utter failure.
      • The history is that IBM gravely under estimated the PC revolution and handed it over to Microsoft, so Microsoft doesn't want to get shafted like they did to IBM.

        I think this is the best one-sentence summary of the thought process that seems to underlie Microsoft's business, consciously or not, all the time.

        They're like the king who came to power by poisoning his predecessor, forever worrying whether they'll fall the same way.
        • by El_Smack (267329) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @01:02PM (#16753267)
          IBM didn't get shafted, and MS didn't poison the King to become King. IBM did make a grave business error of not recognizing the direction of the market and collapsed. MS correctly predicted the future, and did well. MS doesn't want to make the same mistake IBM did, so it competes everywhere.
          • IBM didn't get shafted...


            IBM would probably disagree with that assessment.

            I'd personally argue that IBM agreed to let M$ shaft them, but consentual shafting is still shafting.
          • IBM did make a grave business error of not recognizing the direction of the market and collapsed. MS correctly predicted the future, and did well. MS doesn't want to make the same mistake IBM did, so it competes everywhere.

            OK, there's one more way to say it. Who knows it?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Procyon101 (61366)
        But they are losing their cash cows to do it!

        They were the ONLY game in town in the desktop and laptop market. Now Apple has a huge chunk, and Linux desktop use is growing and becoming more competitive. They have been left behind by install and update technologies. They are now having to resort to strong-arm tactics to bill their casual-use users at every opportunity which is only pissing off their remaining customer base. This weekend I was asked by a medium sized business owner to "show him these Linu
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by shdowhawk (940841)

      There is a simple answer to your question...

      When playing monopoly, are you content on owning half of the board when playing against 4 others? What if you never owned 3 of any of the pieces on the board, so you were never able to built those crazy hotels... would you be content then?

      Microsoft IS in fact being threatened. As you yourself said, they are a software company. Google, is a software company. Microsoft made itself known by creating a fantastic piece of business software (hate to admit that.

    • TA mentioned Google (Google Earth) as the "threatened" app. Microsoft doesn't "feel" anything, especially not threatened. In hopes of enlightening you as to why the conquest-like mentality the corporation seems to take, well, that's MS. I get agitated from time to time with their products, yep but why is everyone so ready to get the torches and pitchforks?? I, for one, am not. Perhaps if Microsoft festers/ferments just a little more..... Nah, light the torches!
    • by ScentCone (795499)
      Why does Microsoft feel theatened by certain markets? I don't understand why they feel they have to compete with everything, even "markets" where there is little or no money to be made. How much money could Microsoft ever make from Virtual Earth? Why does Microsoft feel it has to compete in the games and music world when it is already making huge amounts of money selling software to 90 - 95% of the computer world?

      I don't know... why did Google feel the need to compete with AltaVista? Why did they start d
  • Navigation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Hijacked Public (999535) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @12:21PM (#16752531)
    After playing around with this this morning I can't quite get the hang of the grab and drag navigation. In photo mode (or bird's eye view I guess) it appears to limit the grab and drag range to the actual photo loaded into the frame, and the only way to move outside that is to load another photo by clicking in some kind of grid containing too-small-for-clarity thumbnails.

    Maybe I'm wrong and didn't spend enough time with it, but that is a huge handicap, better photos or not. With Google Earth I can grab and drag to wherever. Half of what I want to find isn't tied to an address, it is much easier to find by following landmarks.
    • by wan-fu (746576)
      The new thing isn't the bird's eye view, but the 3D view. The bird's eye view has been around for quite some time and has always had this limitation. This is because the ability to stitch the photographs taken from the airplane seamlessly together still isn't there yet. The airplane is not shooting exactly perpendicular to the surface of the earth. Imagine a bunch of roof shingles which are the photos and now try making it seamless.

      The new 3D thing is different from this and is more similar to Google Earth.
  • Canoma [canoma.com] from the long-defunct Metacreations. You load up a picture, place some 3d primitives, and line the primitives up so that they match what's in the picture. It was pretty easy to do, and produced decent results- if you only viewed the sides of the object that were actually photographed. Kudos to the MS programmers for coming up with a quick, "cheap" way to add textures to buildings.
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @12:28PM (#16752677) Journal
    I see Virtual Earth as an application that excels in a select few areas, but in general has much less to offer.

    For example, it has nifty texture mapped buildings for a number of places, but what about the majority? Conversely, Google Earth covers a large part of Earth in quite good detail, but Virtual Earth not even my capital city. Additionally, GE has a large community behind it now, and the layer features provides an extensibility that could be compared to the extensions in Firefox.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by bmwm3nut (556681)
      I forgot about the layering that the GE community can provide. Want to bet how long it will be until someone makes a layer in GE that reads the virtual earth data and redisplays it? I'm not sure how the layers in GE work, but I bet someone just needs to have a server the GE queries and then an automated ActiveX control that will grab the virtual earth data and send it back to GE.
  • The hello world link didn't even function properly when I tried running it, and that is on the supported platform: IE 6 running on Windows XP.

    It also looks like it uses an Active X control which, needless to say -- this isn't a real web app at all. Google could have embedded Earth into an Active X control and made a 'web app' better than this with existing code, and supported more than the Microsoft version which only has 15 U.S. cities.

    I am not even going to bother trying it on a real OS/br
  • ...another tool to help the terrorists!
    • Opposite (Score:5, Funny)

      by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @12:49PM (#16753043)
      ...another tool to help the terrorists!

      Actually it's just the opposite - they'll spend a few years going through Active X installations and the configuration screens and it will keep them out of our hair.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by LoverOfJoy (820058)
        Or Osama will release an audio tape stating he loves this new product and even was able to find an image of himself mowing his lawn. Government agencies around the world will spend a few years going through Active X installations and configuration screens before they even start their "Where's Waldo" hunt giving bin Laden plenty of time to plan his next attack.
  • tried it on an 32 bit XP system (SP2), under IE6, I downloaded and installed the App/ActiveX control and set local.live.com to be a Trusted Site... and still IT NO GO
  • Accuracy levels (Score:3, Insightful)

    by PhotoGuy (189467) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @12:33PM (#16752745) Homepage
    "Engineering level accuracy?" What kind of vague marketing speak crap is that? To the millimeter? To the cm? To the meter? (If I hired an engineer to do a building, I'd probably want accuracy to the inch. Does it do that?)

    Can someone please put this in terms of "Libraries of Congress" or "Volkswagens" so I have some sense of perspective??? Help!
    • by kegon (766647)
      > If I hired an engineer to do a building, I'd probably want accuracy to the inch.
      The nearest inch ?

      Where are you, Liberia [wikipedia.org] ?
      Inches are so 1790s (I read my own link you know).

      Seriously though, one inch is nowhere near the accuracy you need to "do a building" as you quaintly put it.

      Sorry, I'm too lazy to think of a humourous response to the sense of perspective thing.
  • You lucky ones... (Score:2, Informative)

    by robcfg (1005359)
    After going through a huge number of windows it turns on that it cannot be installed in a spanish XP. So we'll have to wait (as usual) to try it. I hate this things... :(
  • From the amount of groaning for a Linux version, whats stopping the development of a plugin-interface that is the same across browsers? Publish an RFC or get ECMA certification then get everyone to use it to the point that only Microsoft is not. Then make Microsoft use it. Replace ActiveX, Java, and Media Player proprietary interfaces with a standard plugin-interface that works for everything - leveling the playfield. Make the render engine a plugin too.
    Rehashing some ideas that are floating around out
  • It only works with IE 6 or 7.
  • It seems to be working fine in FX 1.5. So either: 1) I'm on the wrong site or 2) It's only partially working in FX 1.5.

    http://local.live.com/ [live.com] yes?
    • by ehaggis (879721)
      It will allow you the 2D maps but the 3D features are a fully installed local program which IE calls.
  • by El_Smack (267329) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @12:44PM (#16752963)
    Just get the original blueprints from the Magratheans.
  • sdk (Score:2, Informative)

    by warrior_s (881715)
    From the blog, The SDK is here: http://dev.live.com/virtualearth/sdk/ [live.com]
  • It is not very responsive or quick to load compared to same environment with Google maps.
  • Great idea! (Score:3, Funny)

    by bcmm (768152) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @12:52PM (#16753083)
    This new technology compiles photographic images of cities and terrain to generate textured, photorealistic 3-D models with engineering level accuracy.
    I've been waiting AGES for something like this! Thank you Microsoft, for leading the way with new and innovative technology, yet again.
  • why? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @12:53PM (#16753109)
    so they're copying google 100% except that their version won't work on my mac.

    oh my god, it hurts to think of all the wasted energy in reproducing something badly.
    • copying google 100%

      I hope people are getting the difference, beyond your humor. Because if people don't get it, we won't ever see Google catch up to what MS is dong.

      MS's version actually models the building in a city in 3D, so you can virtually walk or fly around the city and see the building in 3D space.

      MS also does a better job at matching the elevation maps with mountains and other non-flat aspects in all areas. So for example the mountains are properly elevated and to scale, where Google tends to leave
  • IE 6 hangs with the plug-in on exit. Can't really see the "3D" features compared to Google earth buildings.
  • Canada, eh? (Score:4, Informative)

    by PhotoGuy (189467) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @12:55PM (#16753149) Homepage
    Just gave it a try. IE only, active X install (versus AJAX that google uses; wait, didn't MS start all the XMLHTTP stuff themselves?), which were annoying, but in the end, the quality of the satellite views for Nova Scotia (where I live) are an order of magnitude poorer than Google Earth.

    So, IE Only, Poor Canada support. I'll pass for now.
    • by Petrushka (815171)

      Ditto for New Zealand, where the satellite maps on Google Maps/Earth are excellent, those on Virtual Earth farcically bad. To be fair, Virtual Earth has much better road-maps.

      Oh, and here's a fun thing in Virtual Earth: the world has edges. If you start at the New Zealand mainland and try to scroll eastward to the Chatham Islands ... you can't. The world stops at about 180 degrees east (I'm not sure if it is exactly 180 degrees, as I can't find a way of checking longitude and latitude, which is a bit crap)

  • I like to give them a chance but this will be used as a toy then discarded. local.live.com and it's horrible 2 condition search criteria makes it unusable.
  • I'm really impressed by 6 year old blurry black and white photos where Google gives me fairly recent photos at about 3X the resolution in color. I live in the cuts, but it's not that bad. Arcata, CA
  • Compare microsoft's map [www.hmi.de] with that of google [www.hmi.de], centred on the Brandenburg gate, and you see that Microsoft are lagging slightly behind google in resolution. As I remember, the google launch had full resolution on Berlin from the start.
  • World wind (Score:4, Insightful)

    by plopez (54068) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @01:10PM (#16753381) Journal
    I like this one too.

    http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/ [nasa.gov]

  • For a long time I have tried to tell Microsoft that I don't want to be a norwegian when I have to visit some of their pages. I like my system in English - but! "Virtual Earth 3D (Beta) currently does not support your region or language. Thanks for your patience. Regarding patience.. I was able to touch 9Kb/s download rate while trying to install/download the component needed for 3D. Microsoft downloads just takes sooo much time. Net-Installing Debian from a US server is done with 1,5Mbyte per second, haha!

    B
  • Wow. I was looking around Los Angeles, wanting to see what Santa Monica looked like when I came across this ad [live.com] blatantly hanging in the air. Incredible. That's reason alone to stick with Google Earth.
  • I'm using firefox 2.0 here, it works just fine.
  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Tuesday November 07, 2006 @01:47PM (#16753941) Homepage
    Why hasn't this been integrated into Microsoft's Flight Sim yet? You don't need to install 15GB worth of data, and the maps are always updated. Better graphics too I might add.
  • I looked it up in the dictionary but there wasn't a definition of just how accurate that is. I was told to achieve engineering-level accuracy, you really need to eyeball it, because that kind of accuracy is only a stone's throw away from being damn fine precision.
  • I guess that most people praising Virtual Earth (VE from here on) did not try it on spots outside the U.S.A. (Disclaimer: I run Firefox on Linux,so I did not test the new 3D VE services. ) I tried comparing the 2d services: open both maps.google.com and virtual earth , set them to hybrid, and zoom into "Paris, France" for example; click here (google) [google.com] and (VE) [live.com]. Google lets you zoom all way down, you can see people walking on streets (that picture of Hotel de Ville is gorgeous!); with VE, building are s
  • Is it me or did MS remove the non-IE Web browser support in http://local.live.com/ [live.com] ? It used to work in my Mozilla v1.7.13 when the site was new. Now, I don't get the cool aerial 3D maps anymore unless I use IE6. Or did I miss it?
  • Yes the textured 3D buildings are nice, though Google does have a lot of these in its 3D Warehouse, it just needs some integration.
    However, where Microsoft is lacking is the rest.
    All the text, road markers, etc.. are rasterized on the images and are not overlaid as vector graphics. Therefore if the detail level of the imagery isn't great, or you are looking at something partially in the distance (so the level of detail is reduced), you cannot read any of the text.
    I think in this case, Google is leaps and bo
  • "Installation of Virtual Earth 3D requires Windows XP Service Pack 2 or greater."
    Boo.

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