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Microsofts new take on Google

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#1
Kartograph

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It seems to be fresh news, Microsoft launched a Google Map/Local clone.
Still a bit slow.
The map graphics look very familliar, Nick, did you have a hand in it?

Here´s the article:

Directions Blog

Here the press release:

press release

And the link:

live local

#2
Hans van der Maarel

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It seems to be fresh news, Microsoft launched a Google Map/Local clone.
Still a bit slow.
The map graphics look very familliar, Nick, did you have a hand in it?

Here´s the article:

Directions Blog

Here the press release:

press release

And the link:

live local

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The birds'eye views are quite interesting, but apart from that it seems a bit like a Google Maps/Earth clone that just doesn't do it properly... I'd be interested in finding out about an API.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#3
frax

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doesn't look overly different to what microsoft has had on there for a while, but the oblique photos (bird's eye view) are mondo cool, too bad they are not overlaying them with something (pushpins, street names).

For some reason, Google Maps (including mashups) don't always work as they should in my browser (I am using the browser called Maxthon, maybe because of the ad blocking that I am running...), and I haven't bothered fixing that -- Microsoft's maps have been working fine though.
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#4
Nick Springer

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The map graphics look very familliar, Nick, did you have a hand in it?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

While I din't work on this specific product (or anything for Microsoft in a while) they continue to use the map styles I designed for them when I worked there.

I guess they were a successful design to have lasted 6+ years in the software industry.

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#5
Martin Gamache

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I worked with Pictometry stuff a bit in my previous job and there is in theory the possibiliity to overlay vectors onto those oblique images since they are all georeferenced. In fact you can take vertical measurements of the buildings...

It will add a whole new dimension to our "Guess where" game...at least where the obliques are available.

As for browsing, it was pretty smooth and fast for me with Firefox.

I also think the Microsoft basemap at least at smaller scales is more useful as it has more features. Google's seriously lacks natural features like rivers, lakes etc...

#6
Hans van der Maarel

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That was my main gripe, browsing and panning just seems 'odd'. There's more international map data (yay!!) but satellite image coverage seems less (awww...)

As for browser compatability, Google Maps mashups are compatible with IE and Firefox, they generally support Safari and Opera as well. However, developing for IE is hell. Code that works perfectly on FF gives a "page not found" error in IE and stuff like that.

I'd definately be interested in Local Live if there would be an API similar to the one Google has.

The oblique stuff will definately bring a new dimension to our guessing game :D
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#7
frax

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i thought there was a free API for the ms virtual earth that was better in some aspect, but that people didn't use, since google are good and microsoft evil. google was of course first too. Sorry if I am uniformed...
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#8
Hans van der Maarel

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i thought there was a free API for the ms virtual earth that was better in some aspect, but that people didn't use, since google are good and microsoft evil. google was of course first too. Sorry if I am uniformed...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Turns out there is an API, hopefully I have some time to look into it soon.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#9
Matthew Hampton

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Browsable bird's eye views? It's absolutely beautiful!

Mind you this is just a Beta. I think this is great for the technological development of spatial awareness, but I wonder what the more enhanced imagery takes a bigger hit on "up-to-datedness" and maintenance.

I am very impressed, and would hope there are some quick upgrades (like a small reference map).
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#10
Derek Tonn

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I am impressed at first glance too, though I cannot get the site to display map/photo graphics properly in Firefox 1.5. Also, those "Bird's Eye" photos are beautiful! I am wondering if they are going to eventually make a move to become somewhat of an oblique aerial photo "archive" within the service....or if aerial photographers can upload images to particular coordinates for their clients to reference....similar to Google Earth.

A great "first effort" with the Beta though! It'll be fun to watch Google and Microsoft slug it out with this one....with all of us end-users likely being the primary beneficiaries of their "war"..... ;)
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#11
Hans van der Maarel

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Google may be way ahead of them already:

Google Transit

:blink:

Currently only Portland, OR as a test, but if they can get this thing up and running for a bunch of major cities, it's going to prod some serious buttock...
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#12
Matthew Hampton

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I am using Firefox 1.0 and it's fine.

It will be interesting to see how extensible the API is. I think the easier an application can me modified for personal use, the more successful it is going to be.

I think we are all winners in this race for geospatial visualization - hopefully it can sustain itself. Otherwise in 5 years we'll be looking at "historical" photo's of downtown Seattle. I also wonder what the scale/resolution standard will be - or if well just build storage/retreival/optical devices that take us to a 1:1 relationship with space.

Hey, I just stood up from my computer and interacted in real time with the actual environment in high definition!

__
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#13
JimBlakeslee

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I was at the Kelsey Group's Interactive Local Media Conference last week, which discussed local search and Internet mapping sites in great detail (and in that order). Some notes of interest to this audience on mapping realted speakers:

Shailesh Rao, Local Search Exec, Google: Not much talk about mapping itself, rather they seemed to have matured enough that they are thinking of it maps as a part of other things, not an application in itself. Talked a lot about the future direction to use the maps interface for better local search results, Google Base, Froogle results, etc. They really think of themselves as experts in product development, and have a lot of things going on. Reitereterated that Google has NO plans to discontinue commerical OR non-commerical use of the GoogleMaps API, although they still hold the option to change the way it works at any time. Note: Google's API does not extend to geocoding, they recommend using other geocoding web services (apparently ignoring issues of alignment.) RE: Mash-Ups, Bret Taylor at Google basically indicated that they were caught by surprise by the people who started making derivative works when they launched GoogleMaps, but they decided the corporate attitude would be "let's promote that" not "let's protect this."

Erik Jorgensen, General Manager, MSN Search: Gave demo of the now public Windows Live, clearly very excited about the oblique angles. For his demo, he used the statue of liberty, comparing vs. Google (Pictometry aerial oblique imagery). And, of course, the statue is in the middle of the water so there is nothing else to get in the way! I notice that MSN is giving more resolution on imagery (zoom in futher) even at birds eye. Also very focused on local search using significant meta tags (who is open late, who takes diner's club cards, etc). Hinted towards more 3D style mapping apps in the future, making reference to leveraging Microsoft's XBOX 3D talent base. Dare we imagine: walk through maps? Also Q&A re: mapping listings from the forthcoming Fremont (MS's version of Google Base / Craigslist).

Scott Regan, Director of Product Development, Yahoo!: Yahoo has really made tremendous progress on all of their tools, and were only too happy to show off Yahoo maps and Yahoo local. I notice Yahoo is the only big mapping application using Flash. In fact, they appear to be using Macromedia Flex (sort of server side Flash). Yahoo spent most of their energy celebrating the various mash-ups that are possible (many demo's). Yahoo's API looks really good, and unlike Google includes a geocoder API. However, they are currently for non-commerical use only (unless you get their blessing, or something.) I was most impressed with Yahoo.

AOL Mapquest was "also there" but didn't have much to talk about. They did say they will "launch an API in the future." I was left with the impression that AOL isn't sure what to do with Mapquest, and the product management has basically stalled out for an extended period. They aren't even following MSN, Google, and Yahoo... they are "talking" about following them in the future. But regardless, they still pull a huge audience and need to have a signficant role to play for AOL moving from pay-for-service to Internet destination website. They were giving away baseball hats with a large, centered, red star -- but a pixelated one. It is like a digital version of the red star of communism or something. They don't seem to be aware it makes a wierd logo.

No GIS companies present. At all. Not one. (Unless you count me.)

#14
Hans van der Maarel

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Just spent some time trying to get a Hello World sample up and running with the Virtual Earth API. I'm not impressed... I can't even get the sample code to work with Firefox and there's hardly any documentation/tutorials available. I simply refuse to develop a IE-only thing. I'll give it another try later this week but things don't look good at the moment.
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