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Microsoft World Mapping (Beta)

     
4:57 pm on Jul 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft is playing catch-up to rival Google with the release of a beta world mapping service, MSN Virtual Earth.

...However, Microsoft has also released a separate client-side application, Microsoft Location Finder, which integrates with MSN Virtual Earth and allows a user to pinpoint their own position by means of signals from wireless networks.

[networks.silicon.com...]

[virtualearth.msn.com...]

5:20 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I tried google a few times, but it freezes the computer after 2 min., so maybe it time for microsoft map.
5:27 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Excellent! I could locate my small town in India.No doubt, M$ is winner.
5:32 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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For anyone who has a wheel on their mouse, use it to zoom in and out. Something not available with the Google version.

Just downloaded and installed the Location Finder.

I hit LOCATE ME and boy! it was way way off. It had me down as some Duane Reade in the city far away.

5:45 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Very slow, and black and white. I guess this is why it can cover more area, but Google wins by far, at least at this time.
6:04 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Wow - this is amazing.

The scroll bar is fast (in fact, the entire site seems very quick).

I often have issues loading google maps, this is the fastest internet based browing app I've seen.

Nice job, MSN.

6:14 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft is playing catch-up to rival Google...

Uh... TerraServer went public in June, 1998.

6:19 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I can see my house in much better detail and much higher zoom on Google Earth.
6:36 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Outside of North America, MSN is pathetic compared to Google. It knows more places on the map, but the graphics are several orders of magnitude weaker.

In Europe, Google has aerial photographs of many cities, so that I can count the cars in front of my house in Munich (Germany). Even in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) I can distinguish individual houses in the satellite images. With MSN I need the marker to show me where either city even is, because there's not enough detail to visually recognize them. Even at the same scale, Google's images show much more crisp detail, while MSN is blurry.

Lots of work left to be done here.

7:04 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Let's see if MS releases any API?
7:28 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Wow - this is amazing.

The scroll bar is fast (in fact, the entire site seems very quick).

I often have issues loading google maps, this is the fastest internet based browing app I've seen.

It loads fast, but the scroller is not smooth, which is annoying to me at least. The graphics in Google are way better, which is probably why the loading time is slower. It also is in color. I like the idea of "flying" over the terrain which I didn't notice in MSN.

8:33 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This map is far too US centric. I typed in a search for Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, and it came back with a tine village in zhe USA.

Heck, type in New Zealand and it cannot even find a location. Years of catch up to do here. Google has most of New Zealand in great digital imagery.

Sorry, but MSN are losing this battle, and I only picked one random example.

8:56 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The Register is reporting that Apple HQ is missing from MS Virtual World.
Look at 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino, CA 95014 there and compare with the same thing on Google Earth.

That's either v. funny or v. scary...I've not decided yet.

9:59 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>> v. funny or v. scary

v. funny

10:08 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This is a worthy adversary for Google Maps (actually when it is ready it will be much better than Google Maps) but Google Earth still towers above this offering from Microsoft in every way.
10:21 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google Earth and Google Maps are two different products. MS Virtual Earth is competing with Google Maps - a web based mapping system. Having started hacking the GMaps API over the last week the data for MS Virtual Earth is superior world wide - gmaps has excellent data for the US, Canada, UK and Ireland only - the rest is just so much scorched earth. MS has most reasonable sized towns in all the parts of the world I know well.

Hope MSN open up an API also - and I hope Google put in City and Region locations - the data is there - the US geo...names? dept (help me out here!) publish data for this - in the public domain, would make there product feel more complete whilst waiting for all the roads and such.

Overall - great to see internet mapping hotting up :)

11:38 pm on July 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The Register is reporting that Apple HQ is missing from MS Virtual World.
Look at 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino, CA 95014 there and compare with the same thing on Google Earth.

Microsoft is just using older map data for that area, although we can't rule out they may have done it intentionally ;)
12:27 am on July 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Better resolution that Google Earth. Clearer images on zoom-in. Tested it vs G.E. on all my "marked" locations and it is simply better.
I do admit I like G.Es extreme "fly to" features though.

Imagine how this tech will get better with time!

1:28 am on July 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Better resolution that Google Earth.

I guess the depends on the maps used ;)

With MSN, I can barely make out where my house is...

With Google, I can clearly see two 4 foot diameter holly bushes in my back yard.

If you doubt what I am saying, take a look at Google earth in the NY metropolitan area.

3:29 am on July 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Im waiting for real time centimeter resolution satelite imaging :) I should see myself waving back at the satelite :)
4:35 am on July 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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As soon as they get down to 12 inch resolution, I'll have to stop sunbathing nude on the roof. :-)
8:45 am on July 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Who really cares if they can see their house in good resolution on any mapping application? It's not what it's for! If I wanted to see a picture of the top of my roof close up I'd climb on my roof and take a picture myself.

Have we all fallen for gimmicks? The real use for these mapping apps is searching for services / places and directions. So the accuracy of that data is what's most important and how easy it is to use NOT the resolution of the images. We should be reviewing these apps on this not if we can see our house.

*Sigh*

8:57 am on July 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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More Virtual USA than Virtual Earth methinks...
2:05 pm on July 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Who really cares if they can see their house in good resolution on any mapping application? It's not what it's for! If I wanted to see a picture of the top of my roof close up I'd climb on my roof and take a picture myself.

Practical application of mapping software (and another one of my random stories).

A couple weeks ago we're going out to see a movie. Having just moved, we're not famaliar with the theatres around here. Most theatres don't offer parking (big city), and we don't feel like taking the El.

A quick search on the satellite maps shows us several theatres, which one's have a parking lot, which one's don't.

Issue resolved, off to the movies with a parking space.

The best thing it - it's not me who thought of using the maps. It was someone who's not a total internet geek. 'Average surfers' are using these systems in such ways.

10:02 am on July 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>>12 inch resolution

I doubt. ;)

As far as i've tested Google Earth is much better in resolution, features, interface ...

11:26 am on July 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thought I'd pop in after a LONG absence when I spotted this in the news.

Apple Wiped from Face of the Earth [globetechnology.com] in the MSN map.

I'm sure it was entirely accidental. ;)

10:40 pm on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google Earth is miles better than the MSN attempt. Give me a place to stand and I will move the Earth!
 

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