Microsoft Integrates Photosynth into Virtual Earth

photosynth-logoThis could be pretty cool.  Microsoft’s remarkable Photosynth software now is playing nicely with Virtual Earth.  From their press release:

Photosynth software analyzes digital photographs and generates a 3-D model by “stitching” the photos together. These models, or “synths,” can now be viewed using Silverlight technology across multiple platforms. Virtual Earth brings together features, functionality and content that help consumers, businesses, citizens and governments bring location to life. It helps businesses and governments share location-based information, build better connections with consumers or citizens, and helps organizations make better operational decisions. With the integration of Photosynth into Virtual Earth customers will be able to create detailed 3-D views of anything from places to products and from hotels to homes.

Greg Sterling has some good ideas on how companies could best use this, covering ideas such as real estate  and retail stores.

More fresh imagery for Virtual Earth

bahamasAnother imagery update for Virtual Earth.  They’ve still not released any new 3D “version 2″ cities (WHY??), but they keep pushing new imagery out at a good pace.

This update covers “only” 9TB of data, but they brag that it covers over 1 million square kilometers of Earth.  That sounds nice, but I wonder how it compares to previous releases and typical Google Earth releases?  I have no idea.  I have a feeling that it’s a pretty low number, but it sounds good because we have no scale to measure it against.

In any case, it’s still a very nice update and covers more than 65 countries.  You can get the full details on VE Evangelist’s blog.

Another large imagery update for Virtual Earth

Microsoft has just pushed out another large imagery update for Virtual Earth.  While it’s only 21TB (a huge number for sure, but smaller than previous releases), it adds new imagery to parts of 63 different countries.  Quite impressive!

You can view the full list of updates here.

I just wanna know when we’re gonna see more 3D cities from them.  No word on what’s going on, and they haven’t responded to my inquiries.  Strange…

Another big Virtual Earth imagery update

Microsoft has pushed out another big imagery update for Virtual Earth — this one with about 55TB of data.  Quite impressive!

This covers most types of imagery in many areas around the world.  A detailed list can be found here.

My question is: what’s up with the 3D cities?  They simply haven’t been adding any more.  They are awesome, they are apparently dormant, and no one can tell me what’s up.  Anyone have any idea why they’re not adding more of those?

Microsoft releases massive imagery update for Virtual Earth


Virtual Earth has been quiet lately, but Microsoft has just released a TON of new imagery for it.  No new features like Google Earth’s sweet update, and still no new 3D buildings, but the amount of imagery is quite impressive.

New Bird’s Eye imagery in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Sweden, the UK and a ton of places in the US.  In addition, they’ve added a ton of High Res Othos and Satellite imagery in a wide variety of locations around the world.

Get all the details about this release here.

Digital Earth products with Windows 7

I downloaded Windows 7 on my laptop tonight (dual boot with XP) and started testing the various digital earth products.  So far, so good!

Google Earth went without a hitch.  It runs very well, too!

The Google Earth plug-in worked perfectly as well.

Google Maps worked, as did StreetView.

Virtual Earth installed flawlessly and worked briefly, then locked up the PC hard.

All in all, I’m quite pleased with how these programs are working with Windows 7.  I had intended to say “this works, that doesn’t, etc”, but everything works (for the most part).  I am very impressed with Windows 7 speed-wise, too.  It’s had a few hiccups (video card didn’t want to play nice), but these apps are FLYING on this old machine.

By the time it goes gold, I expect big things out of it.

Huge imagery release for Virtual Earth

Microsoft has rolled out another enormous imagery release for Virtual Earth.  Details can be found here, but the quick version includes:



  • Spain
  • Japan
Obliques (Bird’s Eye)
  • United States
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Luxembourg
Sadly, once again, there doesn’t appear to be any new 3D buildings.  C’mon Microsoft — those “version 2″ cities are amazing and we want more of them!

Virtual Earth 6.2 released, with stunning clouds

Virtual Earth 6.2 has been released, with a whole host of new features.  Among them:

  • New imagery —  “Richer bird’s eye” and new 3D imagery, but I can’t find a list of what’s been updated.
  • Weather integration — Real-time clouds (see more below)
  • Localized maps — English, German, French, Italian and Spanish.
  • Near-matching — Helps find locations with alternate and similar spellings.
  • Landmark-based routing
  • Rich imagery for mobile users — Their screenshot shows an iPhone, but I can’t make it work on mine.  Maybe I need a specific URL?
  • One-click directions

The new imagery might be worth writing about, but I can’t find what’s new.  However, the clouds are very cool.  Fly down low in a city, look up, then wait a few seconds.  Pop!  There they are.

Unlike the clouds in Google Earth, these are fully 3D semi-transparent clouds.  Flying through them, they look almost real — it’s very impressive.There are a few downsides, though.  For one, they load in square tile areas.  If you fly too quickly, they’ll disappear until the next set loads.  Also, there is no way to leave them on and get a satellite view of an area from up high; if you fly very high above them, they simply go away to leave you with a clear view of the ground.

I’ll leave you with a short video demo of the clouds, shot by Frank Taylor at Google Earth Blog.  With it, you can really see just how cool this feature is.  He’s using a SpaceNavigator to fly through them, a tool which I strongly recommend for any avid Virtual Earth (or Google Earth) user.

Virtual Earth update time

Just a few days ago I mentioned that I hadn’t seen an imagery update for Virtual Earth in a while, and now we have one.

This one reportedly has a staggering 48TB worth of imagery, but doesn’t cover that many places.  The list:


  • Yakima, WA
  • Springfield, MO
  • Spokane, WA
  • Portland, ME
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Billings, MT
  • Minneapolis, MN (UltraCam Refresh)
  • Seattle, WA (UltraCam Refresh)
  • Las Vegas, NV (UltraCam Refresh)
  • Phoenix, AZ (UltraCam Refresh)
  • Tampa, Fl (UltraCam Refresh)


  • Vector overlays for Navteq and MDS data sources for orthos and Bird’s Eye
  • All mobile tiles
  • New British Isles Map style


  • Tampa, FL
Only one new 3D city?  Bummer.  I’m dying to see the country (and world) get populated with those awesome “version 2″ cities, but they really seem to be slowing down.  Hopefully they can pick up the pace and get more areas fleshed out in the near future.

The energy costs of Hurricane Ike

Brian Timoney has made some nice updates to ahead of Hurricane Ike.  Not only does it give you the location and path of the storm, but it shows all of the affected oil wells in the Gulf, broken down by company.  He uses Virtual Earth to power it.

I’ve heard a lot of news stories about how gas prices are likely to shoot up due to this, and this site shows why.  Great site!

(via Spatially Adjusted)