MSN Virtual Earth (beta)

In the new mapping/satellite imagery frenzy, Microsoft launched this weekend its beta version of MSN Virtual Earth. First things first, Microsoft’s Earth is basically USA, with the rest of the world as we now it, not really covered, but, well, let’s give them credit and wait a little more on this, while it’s still a beta version.

Compared with Google Maps, I personally find it a little slower and most of satellite images a little blurried and darker, but I might have looked at the wrong places.

Considering the rumors around the web on this service, there’s more to come so all we have to do for now is wait for good things to happen:

The service is promised to provide:

  • Satellite images with 45-degree-angle views of buildings and neighborhoods
  • Satellite images with street map overlays
  • Ability to add local data layers, such as showing local businesses or restaurants

PS Microsoft is still playing its own hide-and-seek game, with Apple this time as pointed in a BusinessWeek Weblog and leaves Apple headquarters out of Cupertino. Here’s Google’s version.

UPDATE: Microsoft said its new mapping service, made available free during the weekend, was still in its testing phase and includes some older, black-and-white photographs from October 1991. Uhh, Mr.Gates, we’re in 2005, remember??

Technorati&IceRocket Tags: Maps, MSN Virtual+Earth, Google maps

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