Virtual Earth sends Google in street
Welcome to MSN Virtual EarthTM! Virtual Earth combines mapping and local search to put the answers to your search questions in a geographical context. To do this, Virtual Earth combines MSN Search with the latest in mapping to create a new Web application built on Microsoft technology.
Probably they left the rest to be discovered by us. I tested this only on Internet Explorer since on Maxthon I had some problems and I’m not sure if it works correctly.
I must say that I’m a little impressed for such a start; they have (in comparison with Google) some interesting features:
- the Locate Me feature (that uses either your IP or your wi-fi connection to detect where you are – don’t use the wi-fi detection option since you’ll have to install an Active X based program)
- has a better zoom in – for the same location that I tested on Google Maps and on MSN Virtual Earth I could go with Google close to 200 feet while with MSN VE it went to 120 feet – I’m not sure if this applies for every search but for my test it acted this way
- has a Permalink option that allows you “… at any time to return to Virtual Earth with your current map view, searches, and Scratch Pad just as they are now. Use the link to bookmark your current map or to e-mail the map to a friend.
- if you’re zooming past a certain point, it will automatically switch from the Road Map view to the Aerial photo view (the equivalentnt of Satellite view in Google), which is kind of cool
Ok, but what it lacks in comparison to Google’s Map? Seems like accuracy. I don’t know if they did this intentionally or not, but when you search for 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, CA 94043 they place one of Google’s location in … the middle of an intersection.
I took some screenshots of this too, just in case they correct this problem.
Here is the MSN Virtual Earth result for the above mentioned location:
And this one is from Google’s result:
As you can see there is a few blocks in between the two locations. I didn’t test this too much but if I find more interesting things I’ll post in here too.