MSN Rolls Out Virtual Earth Mapping Service
The new service emphasizes aerial photography in conjunction with overlays of businesses and other kinds of locations for what is being dubbed, "an immersive search experience."
According to one example provided by company officials, a user who is buying a house might want to look at traffic and weather patterns around the area for the past year. And the user might also want to find nearby dry cleaners and restaurants. MSN Virtual Earth would begin with an aerial view of the location on one map, with layers of businesses, relevant links, and other information overlaid on top of it.
In another example, a screen shows multiple searches stacked on the left. Advertisers links are shown under the search results, while an opened balloon offers details relevant to the location displayed. The information is all overlaid on a hybrid map, with streets, parks, and other points of interest labeled on the aerial imagery.
Although Microsoft has not released the full feature set for MSN Virtual Earth, these are the known components:
The first release of MSN Virtual Earth should be available sometime this summer.
At first glance, the technology looks to be similar to
Read the full story on PC Mag.com: