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Live Maps Improves Bird’s Eye View

Windows Live Maps has redone the way its bird’s eye view works. The bird’s eye view is a 3/4 overhead view, taken from planes flying over, that provides some amazing detail on city streets. Previously, the bird’s eye view involved choosing from a selection of different images in a nine-image grid, a completely annoying way to do anything, and devoid of any continuity. Now, bird’s eye view is seamless and continuous. Take a look:

New birds eye view 1New birds eye view 1 Hosted on Zooomr
New birds eye view 2New birds eye view 2 Hosted on Zooomr

As you can see in the first image, when you reach the edge of the current field, you see a grid (for about half a second), and the next image loads immediately, as seen in the second image, both lining up perfectly and looking damn great. Click either to see full-size.

Check out that view at this link.

They’ve also added support for Virtual Earth 3D in Firefox (Windows only), so users of the non-Microsoft browser can enjoy all the 3D mapping goodness. As the only company offering 3D maps, especially at this amazing level of detail, right in the web browser, its great to have this in other browsers. I wonder if there’s a hack to get it work in Firefox on a Mac.

Other enhancements include a review and ratings details page:

Subscribing to collections via RSS (which I detailed over a month ago):

New drawing tools which make it easier to do detailed shapes and tell you the area of a property:

Drag and drop reordering on the scratch pad:

Also: Enhancements to when traffic conditions are displayed, and an updated Outlook add-in that adds support for Outlook 2007 and Windows Vista.

April 7th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | General, Windows, Live, Maps | no comments
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