New Google Earth imagery/3D, Bing StreetView coming soon

A couple of quick links today:

Imagery update in Google Earth: Just two weeks since their last one, Google has pushed out another imagery update.  It’s not a huge one, but it covers small parts of many countries.

New 3D imagery in Google Earth: Google has started using StreetView imagery in some cities to create lifelike facades in the downtown areas.  The result is stunning.  Check out the video below to see how it looks:

bingvan-223x300Bing “StreetView” coming soon? It looks like Microsoft may be planning to bring a StreetView-like competitor to Bing Maps.  The image on the right (via StreetViewFun) shows a Bing-labeled van driving around Vancouver gathering street-level imagery.

Considering the Winter Olympics start in Vancouver in a few months, I’d expect we’ll see the results of the imagery before then.

Switzerland takes Google to court over StreetView

We told you a few months ago that Switzerland wasn’t pleased with the new StreetView imagery in their country.  Now they’re going to sue Google in an attempt to get the imagery removed.  Google intends to fight the case.

The first step will be interesting — Google may be required to remove the imagery from Switzerland until a ruling is made.  The order has not come out yet, but could come soon.  Hanspeter Thuer, the federal data protection commissioner in Switzerland, has asked the tribunal to force Google to take the images offline.

The outcome of this case will certainly have huge ramifications on the legality of StreetView in the rest of the world.  Other countries have been displeased with it, and if Switzerland is successful in getting the imagery removed it could cause a small ripple effect to other countries.

This will certainly be a story to watch.

New imagery release for Bing Maps

Microsoft has just dropped a nice imagery update on Bing Maps, covering around 180,000 sq. km.  This update is focused heavily in Europe, in the following countries:

  • Bulgaria (1,225 sq. km)
  • Czech Republic (10,808 sq. km)
  • Estonia (1,418 sq. km)
  • Hungary (23,840 sq. km)
  • Latvia (12,763 sq. km)
  • Lithuania (9,681 sq. km)
  • Poland (24,912 sq. km)
  • Romania (24,435 sq. km)
  • Russian Federation (15,636 sq. km)
  • Slovakia (2,018 sq. km)
  • Slovenia (314 sq. km)
  • Switzerland (6,227 sq. km)
  • Turkey (45,443 sq. km)

As usual, there’s no new 3D to be found, but it looks to be a very nice update.  Be sure to check out the Bing Maps World Tour to see the full details.

New StreetView imagery released and some new features for Bing Maps

Google has just released a ton of new StreetView imagery; Mexico, the Netherlands, Hawaii and various other places.  [details: Google Earth Blog]

Bing Maps has added a few nice features. They now have draggable routes and some new navigation features.  Nothing groundbreaking, but certainly solid updates.  [details: Bing search blog]

Big imagery releases for Google Earth and Bing Maps

We’ve seen a couple of big imagery releases in the past few days:

Google Earth has updated various imagery all over the world.  You can read details on the Google Earth Blog, or view this page to see the updated areas via the Google Earth Plug-in.  Here are some neat things that users have already found in the fresh imagery.

Bing Maps has updated imagery in the US, UK and Canada.  In particular, they’ve added a ton of fresh imagery in Vancouver in anticipation of the 2010 Olympics, which begin in February.  You can use the Bing Maps World Tour application to see all of the updated areas.