Weblog:   Google Maps vs. MSN Virtual Earth
Subject:   US only
Date:   2005-10-02 23:52:03
From:   xmlhacker
Response to: US only

> Redmond, Washington

Hmmm... Redmond. I'm trying to think... I grew up in Kirkland, Washington and yet Redmond, Washington isn't ringing any bells. Do they have a post office? If not, that could be why. ;)

All kidding aside, what are your feelings regarding Google's 'view' of your part of the world? Is it safe to say that MS has invested heavily into the US Market whereas Google has focused more from a global standpoint?

I seem to remember a point in the Scoble/Channel9 video linked above in which is mentioned the use of low-flying aircraft to get extremely detailed images that, when coupled with imagery taken from earth bound vehicles, enabled them to create a somewhat three-dimensional experience, flattening from a 90 degree overhead/vertical perspective to a 180 degree ground level perspective. If I understand things correctly the point of this is to enable a much richer user-experience when accessing the system from a portable device in which you can quite literally access an eye-to-surface level view of your current location. I would imagine the primary focus would be tourism but I would assume that the potential for such capability is fairly substantial, especially in regards to emergency vehicle/search-and-rescue (city-level) and general public safety type situations.

With this in mind, I wonder if this is the reason for the difference in quality of the current US image base?

I'll see what I can find out... thanks for the info!