Hybrid view coming to Virtual Earth’s Bird’s Eye imagery

Turner Field in Bird’s Eye viewOn April 10, Microsoft plans to release Virtual Earth version 6.1.  Among the enhancements:

  • Enhanced experiences with bird’s eye view in 3D, and new bird’s eye hybrid view.
  • Reverse geocoding for U.S. users.
  • Walking directions for North America and European Union users.
  • Traffic-based driving directions.
  • New cross-browser support.
  • Improved printing support for maps.

That’s quite a bit of good stuff.  While I’ve always been impressed with the rate of imagery added to Virtual Earth, I’ve felt that they’ve been behind Google Earth/Maps in terms of features.  Improvements like this are helping them to narrow that gap.  Many of these are things that Google Maps can already do (cross-browser support, traffic-based directions, etc), but it’s nice to see them continue to catch up.

Bird’s Eye imagery has always been a unique feature that they have, so adding hybrid support to that will be neat to see.


  1. Catching up??? I think the passed GM looooong time ago. The ONLY thing I can think of where GM is ahead, is how you can change your route dynamically.

  2. I guess I should have been more clear. When I think about Virtual Earth, I compare it to both Google Maps and Google Earth. Granted, it’s nice to have them in a single package with VE, but I still compare it to the feature set of both Google products.

    I still find the Google Earth network link to be one of its most powerful features, and it’s dead simple to use. Unless I’m mistaken, VE still doesn’t have anything like that.

    Also, the 3D mode of VE still only works in Windows. There are a lot of Mac/Linux users out there that would say that Google Earth is much better because of that.

    All of that being said, I’m becoming a bigger and bigger VE fan. For sheer awesomeness, the 3D mode of most cities is FAR better in VE than GE, simply due to the huge number of textured 3D buildings.

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