msn virtual earth

As you’ve probably figured out, I love maps. I loved Topofusion when I first heard about it, I was ecstatic when Google released Google Maps, and then Keyhole which later became Google Earth.

It’s just amazing to me that we can see almost anywhere in the US (and more and more areas around the world). It’s as if you can travel to places thousands of miles away with the touch of a button.

Anyway, the latest player in the game of maps is MSN Virtual Earth and they have leapfrogged their competitors in terms of resolution. They have the resolution of Topofusion (since they’re using the same maps) combined with the ease of use of Google Maps, which means you can find locations easily (something Topofusion was seriously lacking).

If you haven’t already tried it out, here are a few points of interest to whet your palate.

Sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf

Washington Monument

Temple Square in Salt Lake City


The Pentagon


Dodger Stadium


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  1. thought you would have chosen Fenway Park :-( btw did you know that P.E.A. library has a postage stamp with a pic?

    Comment by whaleman on August 1, 2005 @ 9:52 am
  2. I would have chosen Fenway Park if it had the same resolution, but sadly, most of the east coast satellite imagery is not nearly as good as the west coast, so it’s much less impressive.

    Just to give you an idea, here is Fenway Park in virtual earth and google maps.

    I hadn’t heard about the P.E.A. library. That’s cool.

    Comment by dan on August 1, 2005 @ 1:06 pm
  3. that is kind of weird about how some places you can’t get good resolution but maybe it also has to do with nearby areas such as military stuff etc… The D.C. temple had good resolution (40 yds)as did Oakland but sadly Boston and San Diego did not. Amazing the new stuff we can zoom in on.

    Comment by whaleman on August 1, 2005 @ 1:38 pm
  4. I don’t think it’s as much related to military things, because they can just mask locations they don’t want seen. I think it’s just where they have aerial photos of the location and where they’re relying on satellite images only.

    Comment by dan on August 1, 2005 @ 1:42 pm
  5. Boo, I installed the Location Finder tool but it couldn’t find me!

    As for masking locations, scroll just a bit north from the Washington Monument and find the White House. It’s Photoshopped, as is the Old Executive Office Building just west of it. Interestingly, the inner courtyards of the OEOB are pixelated, but the inner courtyards of the State Dept (23rd and C Streets NW) and the Pentagon are not.

    Comment by Meredith on August 1, 2005 @ 4:06 pm
  6. I saw that the White House was pixelated, but I hadn’t noticed the executive office building. Interesting.

    Comment by dan on August 1, 2005 @ 4:09 pm

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