MSN Virtual Earth: Last impression (promise)

Justed wanted to wrap some things up, and then stop blogging Virtual Earth, as we’ve now determined it is not a competitor to Google Earth, and this blog is about Google Earth and its competitors. Here goes:

1) Other sites have noted that with Virtual Earth, driving directions are outsourced to the much less sexy Microsoft Maps site, in contrast to Google Maps.

2) The black-and-white maps are sometimes more detailed than what Google Maps can offer for a certain spot, but are also considerably older, many people have found. When it comes to viewing Apple’s HQ in Virtual Earth, general hilarity ensues (q.v. Google Maps’s version), as the Register first picked up on. The World Trade Center towers are also still standing in Virtual Earth.

3) Virtual Earth lets you use your mouse’s scroll wheel to zoom in and out, like in Google Earth. It’s a nice idea, though the implementation of it drags, to the extent that I never noticed I could do it until I read about it.

4) Finally, Lifehacker picks up on the fact that if you zoom past available resolutions in satellite view, Virtual Earth will go through with the zooming animation before letting you know if can’t get any closer. That should be an avoidable extra step.

And that’s all. Should anyone come up with clever tools for converting Virtual Earth results into Google Earth-compatible KML (and why not?), I’ll certainly blog it.

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