Tablet PC Thoughts

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Playing with Virtual Earth

I have to admit that I really like Google Maps. It's an impressive web application, and has completely altered how I use maps - and send map information - to friends, family, and coworkers. It's now so easy to quickly locate something on Google maps, get the link, and send it.

As of yesterday I started to experiment more with Microsoft's Virtual Earth, and I now think that I found something I like even better than Google Maps! I was listening to the Virtual Earth podcast from Where 2.0 and Stephen talked about the features that are there ... many of which I hadn't realized.

First, if you put in a query, it will display the results contained in the map you are viewing. As you pan the map, the query results update. You can use the compass for "game-panning" by clicking your mouse on the compass and holding the mouse button down. You can also use the Tools->Scratchpad to drag and drop locations that you want to keep. It's then easy to e-mail these to a friend.

I'm going to continue to use both, and comment on which I like better. I also am going to start to experiment with the developer APIs. I have some ideas of some data that I want to place on a map.

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