MS Virtual Earth meet bandwagon, bandwagon this is MS Virtual Earth

Virtual Earth is Microsofts hot-hot-hot new mapping tool very similar to someone else's online mapping tool.

There are, however, some obvious differences (not withstanding a horizontal zoom tool versus the vertical type). This includes a side-bar that shows things like "bookstores", "pharmacies", and other points of interest in the neighborhood of your viewing location. The demo was lacking as it constantly said "Loading..." in the sidebar - so I have NO idea where to get my books or drugs. However, when I went to my work address I could find local drug, stores. There's also a neat "Scratch Pad" for notes, addresses, etc. that you can email to yourself (or others)

Also, it has a potential geolocation by IP-Address included (or a separate download tool, requires ActiveX - Windows users only need apply). This is definitely where they failed as I do not live in New York. C'mon, flex your money - use a database AND some tracerouting or some-such.

At least MSN took another note from google and slapped a big ol' BETA for very obvious (and complaint dodging) reasons.

About this article

written on
posted in MapsWeb Back to Top

About the Author

Andrew Turner is an advocate of open standards and open data. He is actively involved in many organizations developing and supporting open standards, including OpenStreetMap, Open Geospatial Consortium, Open Web Foundation, OSGeo, and the World Wide Web Consortium. He co-founded CrisisCommons, a community of volunteers that, in coordination with government agencies and disaster response groups, build technology tools to help people in need during and after a crisis such as an earthquake, tsunami, tornado, hurricane, flood, or wildfire.