Sep 29 2008

Live Search Maps

I stay fairly insulated from Microsoft's Live platform while in the Googleverse. However, the recent update to Live Search Maps is nice. They added a handful of useful features, but I have to say the Bird's Eye View is the most impressive. The view feeds in oblique satellite images from Microsoft Virtual Earth and then overlays its label and road data. Comparable features can be found in Google Earth and Maps, but in a strictly visual sense it's more appealing than Google's satellite imagery. For a little comparison, check out downtown Concord on Live Search Maps and Google Maps.

Microsoft doesn't have an answer to Street View, which is useful and just fun to use, and Google Maps is fundamentally more helpful. I've no doubt Google will have an answer to Bird's Eye View in the future, but Microsoft is doing some things right.

The only caveat being: why did the developers feel the need to animate the directional markers on the Live Search compass? Completely unnecessary.

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