Microsoft’s answer to Google Earth Sky set to launch on February 27

Outer SpaceAccording to TechCrunch, Microsoft is set to unveil a product called “Worldwide Telescope” on February 27. This product will be used through a Windows-only downloadable application.

It sounds a whole lot like the “Sky Mode” in Google Earth. From the article:

Users will be able to pan around the nighttime sky and zoom as far in to any one area as the data will allow. Microsoft is said to be tapping the Hubble telescope as well as ten or so earth bound telescopes around the world for data. When you find an area you like, you can switch to a number of different views, such as infrared and non-visible light.

They say it will be much better than Google Sky for two reasons:

  • More data, which sounds reasonable. I don’t have the numbers to say for sure if that’s accurate or not, but it certainly sounds like this will launch with a TON of data.
  • A better user interface, which is “seamless as you move around the sky and zoom in and out”.

I don’t know about you, but Sky mode in Google Earth is pretty seamless to me, especially with the SpaceNavigator. I sure hope Microsoft includes support for it when they release this new product.

Microsoft adds Caligari to Virtual Earth team

Caligari logoMicrosoft has just announced that they have added Caligari, makers of the 3D modeling software trueSpace, to their to their Virtual Earth team.

Plans for implementing Caligari into Virtual Earth have not been revealed, but it certainly has a lot of potential.  One item that I’ve seen mentioned a few times already is the possiblity of a “Second Life” type of feature, or perhaps just another way to put high-quality 3D into the globe.  In any case, it should only mean more good stuff for us to enjoy!

Two big customers move to Virtual Earth

Microsoft has just announced that two big customers have migrated over to Virtual Earth.   From their site:

  • Yellowbook, The largest independent yellow pages publisher, has migrated their application from Mapquest to Virtual Earth in order to take advantage of VE’s advanced rooftop geocoding and maps.
  • Windermere released Property Point 3 and in so doing migrated from a mapping solution built on ESRI and Google mapping to the V6 Virtual Earth platform.

That’s a couple of big-time clients.  I wonder how the numbers stack up in terms of Google Maps vs. Virtual Earth for these kinds of companies?

Another big imagery/3D update for Virtual Earth

Microsoft just doesn’t play around.  They’re back with another absolutely massive update, this one totaling around 27TB!  I love the amount of 3D they continue to push out.  It’s slightly lower quality than Google Earth, but the sheer volume of it more than compensates.

Much of the new imagery is for cities that have new 3D data.  This makes sense.  3D buildings tend to look way out of place when they’re on top of low-res imagery.

The good stuff:

New 3D Cities

  • Redding, CA
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Fort Collins, CO
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Sioux City, IA
  • Waterloo, IA
  • Boise City, ID
  • Decatur, IL
  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Dearborn, MI
  • Flint, MI
  • Kalamazoo, MI
  • Lansing, MI
  • Lincoln, NE
  • Omaha, NE
  • Reno, NV
  • Ogden, UT
  • Bellingham, WA
  • Kenosha-Racine, WI

Ortho Aerial Imagery

  • Ann Arbor, MI
  • Bellingham, WA
  • Boise City, ID
  • Colorado Springs, CO
  • Decatur, IL
  • Des Moines, IA
  • Flint, MI
  • Fort Collins, CO
  • Kalamazoo, MI
  • Kenosha-Racine, WI
  • Lansing, MI
  • Lincoln, NE
  • Omaha, NE
  • Redding, CA
  • Reno, NV
  • Sioux City, IA
  • Waterloo, IA

Also, Japan now has level 19 tiles — it previously only went to 18.

Oblique Aerial Imaery

  • USA
    • Dekalb, AL
    • Fayette, AL
    • Lamar, AL
    • Madison, AL
    • Marion, AL
    • Marshall, AL
    • Morgan, AL
    • Walker, AL
    • Winston, AL
    • Barrow, GA
    • Gwinnett, GA
    • Newton, GA
    • Ada, ID
    • Madison, IL
    • Delaware, IN
    • Lake, IN
    • Sedgwich, KS
    • Anoka, MN
    • St Louis, MN
    • Amite, MS
    • Covington, MS
    • Itawamba, MS
    • Jones, MS
    • Lee, MS
    • Marshall, MS
    • Newton, MS
    • Prentiss, MS
    • Rankin, MS
    • Wayne, MS
    • Cabarrus, NC
    • Gaston, NC
    • Lake, OH
    • Trumbull, OH
    • Bucks, PA
    • Delaware, PA
    • Luzerne, PA
    • Kanawha, WV
    • Alachua, FL
    • Pinellas, FL
    • Volusia, FL
    • Brazoria, TX
    • Hood, TX
    • Jasper, TX
    • Jefferson, TX
    • Montgomery, TX
    • Webb, TX
    • Wise, TX
  • Europe
    • Genk, Belgium
    • Bad Salzuflen, Germany
    • Geissen, Germany
    • Greifswald, Germany
    • Neubrandenburg, Germany
    • Neunkirchen, Germany
    • Odense, Denmark
    • Algeciras, Spain
    • Aviles, Spain
    • Cadiz, Spain
    • Cartagena, Spain
    • Granollers, Spain
    • Irun, Spain
    • Oviedo, Spain
    • Sagunto, Spain
    • Tarragona, Spain
    • Jyvaskyla, Finland
    • Delft, Netherlands
    • Terneuzen, Netherlands
    • Olbia, Italy
    • Biella, Italy
    • Boras, Sweden
    • Eskilstuna, Sweden
    • Falun, Sweden
    • Gavle, Sweden
    • Jonkoping, Sweden
    • Kalmar, Sweden
    • Karlstad, Sweden
    • Vasteras, Sweden
    • Vaxjo, Sweden

Satellite Imagery

  • Ibadan, Nigeria
  • Karachi, Pakistan
  • Lahore, Pakistan
  • Seville, Spain
  • Tehran, Iran
  • Dubai, UAE
  • Erode, India
  • Kannur (Cannanore), India
  • Lakshadweep, India
  • Chengdu, China
  • Kenming, China
  • Changsha, China
  • Chongqing, China
  • Qingdao, China
  • Shanghai, China
  • Salvador, Brazil
  • SaoPaulo, Brazil
  • Medellin, Colombia
  • Winnipeg, Canada

Insanely awesome.

Microsoft is pouring it on — 60 more cities are now in 3D

To go with yesterday’s 36 TB imagery update, Virtual Earth now has another 60 cities in 3D.  Amazing!

The list:


* Chino (124 sq. mi.)
* Corona (65.17 sq. mi.)
* El Monte (129 sq. mi.)
* Fontana (100 sq. mi.)
* Fullerton (122 sq. mi.)
* Ontario (99.43 sq. mi.)
* Pasadena (108 sq. mi.)
* Riverside (123 sq. mi.)
* San Bernardino (126 sq. mi.)


* Arvada (207 sq. mi.)
* Aurora (237 sq. mi.)
* Boulder (131 sq. mi.)
* Lakewood (108 sq. mi.)


* Hartford (89.32 sq. mi.)
* New Haven (70.29 sq. mi.)
* Waterbury (81.46 sq. mi.)


* Davenport (93.46 sq. mi.)


* Nampa (103 sq. mi.)


* Peoria (83.34 sq. mi.)
* Springfield (79.38 sq. mi.)
* Waukegan (77.33 sq. mi.)


* Kansas City (53.21 sq. mi.)
* Overland Park (168 sq. mi.)
* Topeka (74.54 sq. mi.)
* Wichita (97.86 sq. mi.)


* Lowell (85.32 sq. mi.)
* Springfield (87.43 sq. mi.)
* Worcester (54.55 sq. mi.)


* Gladstone (82.76 sq. mi.)
* Independence (83.61 sq. mi.)
* Kansas City (94.76 sq. mi.)
* St Louis (129 sq. mi.)


* Cary (83.93 sq. mi.)
* Charlotte (75.73 sq. mi.)
* Durham (113 sq. mi.)
* Fayetteville (99.34 sq. mi.)
* Greensboro (91.59 sq. mi.)
* Raleigh (104 sq. mi.)


* Fargo (86.02 sq. mi.)


* Manchester (88.08 sq. mi.)


* Cleveland (122 sq. mi.)


* Eugene (90.13 sq. mi.)
* Gresham (148 sq. mi.)
* Hillsboro (111 sq. mi.)
* Salem (77.59 sq. mi.)


* Providence (82.71 sq. mi.)


* Rapid City (207 sq. mi.)
* Sioux Falls (64.72 sq. mi.)


* Provo (79.74 sq. mi.)
* Salt Lake City (99.66 sq. mi.)
* West Valley City (95.8 sq. mi.)


* Newport News (144 sq. mi.)
* Norfolk (172 sq. mi.)
* Richmond (99.76 sq. mi.)


* Eau Claire (86.58 sq. mi.)
* Green Bay (85.28 sq. mi.)


* Lachine (60.9 sq. mi.)


* Liverpool (43.04 sq. mi.)

Very impressive, I must say…