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Microsoft Virtual Earth Launched

This is Microsoft's answer to Google Maps. A blog post (external link) gives us some more information:

Microsoft has launched MSN Virtual Earth, a new service which combines mapping with local search to answer user queries. Read the press release here.

MSN Virtual Earth (external link) provides detailed street-level maps and point-of-interest information for the United States. Later this year it will incorporate bird's-eye-view imagery that shows cities, landmarks, and more from a 45-degree angle view (we told you about some of these features a month or two ago).

Robert Scoble links to a Channel 9 video interview with the MSN Virtual Earth team and the gang at F*ckedGoogle.com is already calling it a "maps.google.com killer". Check out the discussion on Slashdot for something a little more even-keeled.

Visual Earth seems to work fine in IE, Firefox and Opera, but only has a nice little transparency effect in IE and slightly deformed buttons in Firefox. There are no notable other differences and when the rest of the Earth (other than just the USA) gets added in the following weeks, we can probably see a nice battle emerging. "Jerry, Jerry, Jerry!"

Our world is getting easier to access.

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Comments

  • I don't find Virtual Earth as nice as Google Maps, but that is probably just me. There were too many controls and such, at least compared to Google's. It could use some UI changes.

    Posted by Ethan Poole (external link) on Mon 25 Jul 2005 at 16:52

  • I don't know, I like it, although calling it "killer" is far overrating it as far as I'm concerned (besides that "killer" already existed before Google Maps got out, although it was and still is limited to Switzerland).

    Posted by Frans (external link) on Tue 26 Jul 2005 at 1:18