Virtual Earth at MSN

Well, I’ve said good things about Google maps, so when I saw that Microsoft had rolled out Virtual Earth I wanted to take a look. I’ve been trying to get in for a little while. I think it’s still very beta-ish, so well give a pass on availability. I like the wider satellite and map view that you can get. They take advantage of a bit more screen real-estate in their overheads.

In a test I did on an address search, MSN is off by about 1/2 mile. Google Maps by comparison is about 200 feet off with the same address. (That’s one thing I’ve been impressed with at Google Maps.) The street overlay on the satellite view has more roads in my area than the Google Maps version, so that’s nice, although some of them are a bit off. One crossroads in particular meets on the satellite, but the overlay roads do not meet. The only other point is the Satellite view in this area is all black and white and not quite as high resolution as I get in our area at Googele Maps. I haven’t had much time to compare the two for other areas though.

I like the transparency though of some of the “pop up” boxes. Also it looks as though they have a “Locate me” option for someone using a wireless device which might plop you onto the map. It will be interesting to see this one develop. I was a bit curious to see if it would work with Firefox and it does. I’ve got to give a bit of a “hat tip” for that. It will be interesting to see these two competing offerings develop. I’ve got to wonder who else might dip into the same concept.

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