Said to be the first announcement today to”wow” people, virtual Earth promises high resolution imagery to users as well as 45 degree angle views (aka Eagle Eye Views) above major metropolitan areas. The data is believed to be provided by Pictometry. Her’es a blurb from the Pcitrometry PR… “With Microsoft’s use of Pictometry imagery incorporated into MSN Virtual Earth, customers will literally see around everything they search for online where Pictometry images are available,” said Richard Kaplan, president and chief executive officer of Pictometry. “MSN Virtual Earth will redefine the way people find, discover and plan activities. We are thrilled Pictometry will be part of creating these new and important experiences.”
For more, see http://calacanis.weblogsinc.com/entry/1234000100044309/
Google Maps + Personal Ads??
In related, albeit competing news, “BoonEx Group” and “AEwebworks Dating Software Development,” two software development companies, specializing in online dating industry, announced a new cool system, which unites functionality of Google Maps http://maps.google.com/ and database of US members of 4ppl Online Personals website http://www.4ppl.com . This is yet another “hack” of Google’s map service integrated with a propritary database. This one could get people worried though as the site lets people search personal ad postings and view maps and imagery of the person’s location. Imagine.. now users can easily search a major city for a 20 year old female subscriber and view an aerial image of her house and neighborhood (if she’s provided that information to the search service). Sorry, but that’s simply too much information!
FYI, those interested in seeing similar use of the Google map API might be interested in the cheap gas mapping app described here… http://www.gisuser.com/content/view/5675/140/. Similar to the dating service, it enables users to visually see the areas that offer the cheapest gas.. it ties the google map service into the cheapgas.com database - now this is useful!
Some related weblinks include:
Pictometry PR - http://www.gisuser.com/content/view/5720/
Dating Software - http://www.gisuser.com/content/view/5719/
What’s your take… will Google start to shut down hackers who are wrapping up the code or abusing their API? Somehow I doubt that people applying for personal services ever thought that their house and neighborhood would be shown on the web along with aerial photography.