Jamie Thomson

Thoughts, about stuff

Live Maps 2.0 – Wow!

with one comment

In January of this year Steve Lombardi from the Virtual Earth team asked what would we like to see appearing in Virtual Earth/Live maps? Here were a couple of my suggestions:

  • Integrate with PhotoSynth. I look forward to the day when I can zoom into a building or town square and then seamlessly shift into a PhotoSynth representation of it.
  • Record my movements and let me play them back later
  • in order to build the "video" just let me draw a line on a 2D map and then VE can convert this into a 3D video "route" for me

Well today’s Live Maps release included nods to all of those and plenty more besides. Top of the list of new features for me are the ability to record a video of a 3D journey through points in a collection and Birds Eye layering on 3D maps. Let’s take those in turn.

A picture is worth a thousand words so they say so what price a video? Here’s a video I recorded today that shows all home stadium of each team in the English Premier League. Check it out:

I’m utterly blown away by this feature and have loads of ideas about how I am going to use this in the future. Here’s one idea – I’m currently in the midst of creating a Live Events page for my wedding next year and I’ll be embedding a video recorded from Live Maps that shows my guests how to get to the venue from the local airport.


The Birds Eye imagery within 3D maps is equally as impressive and here’s a video of that being used to look at the place I’m currently working in downtown Houston, Texas.

See the manner in which available images are displayed?  Seen that anywhere before?

For a longer (but not complete) list of all the improvements read the official announcement blog entry.


Me being me I’ve always got something to complain about so after playing with the new features for a couple of hours here’s a list of changes I’d like to see happen:

  • I’d like to see us given the ability to directly upload the 3D tour video to MSN Video
  • Collection markers don’t show up in the video. I’d like to have the option to have them included
  • Similarly in each collection that forms the basis of each video there is a lot more information than currently appears in the video (e.g. a photo). I’d like to be given the option to include that information in the video.
  • Why oh why can’t we save driving directions as a collection? If we could then we could easily reproduce driving directions as a video of the planned route.

I’ve got a few more ideas but that’s enough for now.

Great stuff.



Written by Jamiet

October 17, 2007 at 3:43 am

Posted in Live Maps

One Response

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  1. Nice ideas. I love them. Awesome videos.


    October 17, 2007 at 10:07 pm

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