Live Maps with Virtual Earth 3D – what fun!

By Kip Kniskern | In News | Posted October 16, 2007 5 comments

Lots of goodness with the new 3D features of Live Maps – one thing to see it on a big screen at Searchification but a whole ‘nother world to be able to play with it in real time.

Unlike some of the “rollouts” we’ve seen from Windows Live, this Live Search Maps upgrade appeared (from what we can tell) on time, feature complete, underpromising and overdelivering.  Nice job!

One of the new features we were shown, an ability to create a tour (with Live Maps 3D moving from collection point to collection point) and then share it, while it does lack in the ability to really control the experience, is a very nice first attempt.  For a somewhat dizzying experience, you can load up the LiveSide Stickers Around the World! collection:

http://local.live.com/?v=2&cid=629D3050E0813A28%21229&e1ncType=

stickers

..and click on “Tour in 3D”.

Since that tour is a bit long and winding, I created another quick collection, this time featuring some Microsoft points of interest.

http://local.live.com/?v=2&cid=629D3050E0813A28!562&encType=1

bill1

After you’re done playing with the Tour, the Bird’s Eye incorporation into 3D is much cooler than can be shown in a still picture – this is very well done:

bill2

Even the “road view” 3D buildings have been rendered much better, a big improvement over the earlier version:

roadview

And while I did get 3DVia installed (it does take some hefty video specs), I haven’t had time to play with it much, so we’ll save that for another post:

3dvia

(you can try it yourself by clicking on “Collections” in the upper right hand corner of Live Maps when you’re in 3D, and then “Add a 3D Model” – it will take you through the installation experience.  This is not a Microsoft product, and the interface is completely different than a usual Windows app, so it takes a bit of getting used to.)

Posted October 16th, 2007 at 2:26 pm
Category: News
Tags: Live Maps, Live Maps 3D
  • pdileepa

    It is great, it’s a memory hog! Haven’t seen anything that consumes so much memory so fast.

  • Kip Kniskern

    Interesting comment. I’m running this on an agp radeon x1300 and a 1.8g core2 duo with 2g ram, not nearly state of the art. Seems to run fine here – somewhere around 50% cpu usage on Vista, of course a graphics intensive app such as this is bound to use memory, but that’s what the memory is there for, I thought.

  • Alber1690

    Whoa…I find the Tour feature really nice…I’m sure this will motivate at least some news channels to consider switching…

  • dhan

    I cant get the #D control to install on Vista. The setup windows with rotating animation was stuck all night. Didnot work on firefox as well.

  • tophtucker

    Fantastic stuff! I don’t like the VE3D UI as much as the old one, but I almost exclusively use the keyboard shortcuts anyway. Looks like they’ve basically just integrated Photosynth into VE. It’d be cool if you could upload your own images and stitch them into the map. Also, the Bird’s Eye stuff is so great looking that I’d love a slideshow mode.