Virtual Earth is Up

July 25, 2005
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Url: http://virtualearth.com

Microsoft has just released Virtual Earth.  While it is a great competitor for Google Maps, it is still missing much of what Google Earth gives you (unless I am missing something).  It is impressive what they are doing as a browser app without a download.

I played with “Locate Me” a bit.  It did require a download.  What it attempts to do is figure out where you are based on WiFi/IP Address.  It was quite a bit off for me.  It could figure out that I was in Atlanta, but located me in the capitol building (I am about 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta).  Speaking with Robert Scoble at our geek dinner on Saturday, he told me that it was quite accurate.  Perhaps they have more of the Northwest mapped out than Atlanta.

One word of warning.  The “Locate Me” download ends up installing itself into the tray and loads up when windows loads.  Come on Microsoft, don’t play those stupid tricks.  I have too many "TSR"s running anyway.

If you want to be able to play with topographic maps and see mountains and cities in 3d, check out Google Earth or my Rant about about it.  Also check out Google Moon (especially the full zoom)!