Live Search Maps announced via their blog today that a new Chinese version is now available, at www.ditu.live.com (ditu (地图) means maps in Chinese, according to our friend PicturePan2, who was of course already all over this news and has posted on LiveSino.net). From the Virtual Earth/Live Maps blog:
Congratulations to the Virtual Earth team in China for releasing version one of Live Search Maps for China. If you read Chinese you can try it out at http://ditu.live.com. The application was built in China with a focus on getting the features most relevant to our Chinese customers out first. Business search, Collections, and public transit features were emphasized, covering over 100 cities with 7 million business listings.
While it is commendable that the focus is on relevant features for Chinese customers, it is also interesting that in this Chinese version, at least at this point, there are no aerial maps at all, and as a matter of fact the whole top leg of the navigation control is missing. However, according to PicturePan2, there is more road information in the ditu.com version than the maps.live.com version.
This is where our friend PicturePan2 lives, by the way:
Be sure and say Hi next time you’re in Shanghai :)