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.