Tuesday, October 16, 2007

3D Birds Eye Views in Virtual Earth

Another milestone in virtual reality has been reached by Microsoft today. Live Search Map v2 (Gemini) is out with amazing new features! The coolest of them is 3D birds eye views based on aerial photos taken from different angles stitched together just like in Photosynth.

This feature is described in the Virtual Earth blog as:

"Basically, as you navigate the virtual world the camera is snapped to the same parameters the real-world camera had at the time the scene was captured. As you rotate, you will first see virtual 3D buildings and terrain just as the corresponding scene is loaded and overlaid. if you are zoomed out past a single image, a series of white outlines hint at where to click to bring in a new image, very much like the Photosynth UI. smooth camera tweening links the scenes creating an amazing tapestry of the highest resolution aerial image online."

Check out their full to get the details on birds eye view and many other new features such as:
  • 1-Click Directions - Also known as “party maps”, this is a single permalink that you can send out, and each person can get directions to it from their house with a single click.
  • Route Around Traffic - It’s a check box option to have it automatically route around traffic jams, based on the live traffic data.
  • Data Import - Import GeoRSS, GPX and even some KML.
  • Birds Eye View in 3D - A way to view Birds Eye imagery while in 3D mode. It’s kinda weird, but very cool.
  • 3D Tours and Videos of Collections - You can build a “tour” (fly around, look at stuff, etc), then share it with others by sending them a simple URL. They can control the tour using DVD-style controls.
  • 3D Modelling - Using Dassault, you can create 3D buildings in VE.
  • Collection Search and Explore - A search engine for more content.
  • Enhanced Detail Pages - More info about each business listed in VE

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