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MSN Virtual Earth

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Hans van der Maarel

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Just checking it (Virtual Earth) out for the first time and inevitably comparing it to Google Maps. Some thoughts:
- They *do* have a scalebar! Google Maps is showing one too.
- Virtual Earth seems to go one zoomlevel 'closer', although it looks like the actual data is of the same resolution
- They use different sources for the photo/satellite data. VE seems to have older data, with its Manhattan coverage being a b/w pre 9-11 photo, taken early in the morning (long shadows).
- I personally find the Microsoft map to be somewhat more pleasing. Nick, did you also do the design for this one? It seems to be in line with Encarta and MapPoint.
- Areas outside of the US are better covered by Google, which often has some decent aerial or satellite imagery available.
- Control is better in Google Maps. Then again, I'm using Firefox, so I wouldn't be surprised at all if VE would run better on IE.

That's about it for this short look.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
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Nick Springer

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I checked it out last night as well, but didn't play with it much. It is based on my original designs, but there are some new design elements that have been added since I left MS.

Nick Springer

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Silly article here:

Matthew Hampton

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One interesting difference between the two services (Google, MSN) is that Google Earth has inherited the KML file format (Keyhole Markup Language?), that has recently made a ripple in the geospatial community.

Some pundits suggest that Google Earth will become the ubiquitous geo-browser and the KML file format will be the import/export file format for sharing data. A little more information can be found here...



co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com

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