Archive for December, 2005

My world according to

December 12, 2005

Microsoft’s new Bird’s Eye imagery is impressive.

This is my world:

  • I live here.
  • I used to work here.
  • This is my commute.
  • My car is here. It’s the blue jeep wrangler on the roof top.

I assumed they would at least park the car indoors as part of the $370 per month rental fee! Oh well… Life in the big city…

This is where I went to school:


Other points of interest:


The imagery is provided by a company called Pictometry. The photos are taken by cameras that are mounted in the wings of a cessna aircraft. It’s a system like this.

Pictometry calls the angular image an oblique. Oblique is the term used to describe an aerial photograph that is taken at an angle.

Microsoft has an exclusive deal with Pictometry. So, I don’t expect Google or Yahoo to be offering a Bird’s Eye equivalent any time soon.

Microsoft’s enhanced mapping service is not perfect yet but the development roadmap is promising.

At first glance, some obvious issues are:

  • Geographic expansion of the Bird’s Eye Imagery (only ~10 major US cities are covered now).
  • Navigation of the bird’s eye images is a bit frustrating (it could use an ajaxed slider control).
  • Image metadata should be shown.


I expect all of these issues to be resolved within the next 12 months.


Virtual Earth Beta 2 – Coming Soon

December 1, 2005

A major update to Microsoft’s Virtual Earth mapping service will be available soon.

The three big enhancements are:

  1. Eagle-Eye View – I think the official name is still in flux
  2. Fresher higher quality aerial and satellite imagery
  3. Geographic expansion

Some info on the update was posted here.

Also this PDC presentation mentions the major update that was scheduled for November 2005.

More info here: