Virtual Earth 3D Update

Thanks to those wonderful folk at Soul Solutions I was notified of an update to the Virtual Earth 3D control.

You simply head over to Live Search Maps and click on 3D. You’ll be prompted to install the control if you don’t have it already.

Virtual Earth 3D

 

But before we go on, a quick gripe first.

After a seamless install experience, here’s the final dialog. Yes, its one of those ‘let me fuck with your existing settings’ dialogs. I guess I don’t really mind being given the option, but please don’t tick them on by default. Microsoft, it’s just cheap wins and it lowers you into the realm of all those other shitty companies that do this kind of thing. Please stop it.

Final dialog from Virtual Earth 3D install

But once it is installed, it all works very nicely.

Sadly Sydney doesn’t seem to have made the 3D cut yet, so here’s what the Sydney Opera House (or Sydney Opera Center if you’re Hugh Jackman :-) ) looks like:

Sydne Opera House on Virtual Earth 3D 

(The little globe in the bottom left will have a building on (see below) if there are details.)

But other areas are rendering nicely. Here’s Times Square in New York (I thought I’d check if the Virgin Megastore showed :-))

Times Square on Virtual Earth 3D

Oh, and I like how the globe fills up to indicate progress in the rendering:

Virtual Earth progress Virtual Earth 3D progress

The Soul Solutions post has an an impressive image of the Statue of Liberty which renders really nicely, much more so than say this view of the Microsoft campus in Seattle:

Microsoft campus in Virtual Earth 3D 

There’s a few options too, including some terrain view improvements. But be careful with the Options dialog. It can easily fall behind the other windows (eg if you are taking a screen shot) and then you wonder why Live Search won’t respond anymore. You’ll need to minimise windows one by one until you find it. Hopefully the VE team can fix this little quirk in due course.

Virtual Earth 3D options

The control runs in both IE and Firefox, but Chrome wasn’t supported in my experience.

All in all, I like it. Very cool.

See also the Virtual Earth 3D Team Blog.

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