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Windows Live goes Local

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the extending-embraces dept.

Windows 177

dualcore writes "PC Magazine is reporting that Windows is going live with a 'new online local search and mapping service.' The interface is pretty close to Google Local, but with subtle enhancements, such as right-clicking anywhere on the map brings up a context menu or the way you can click on a point on the map to select it for directions. The final word on which service is better remains to be seen but this competition will certainly benefit the end-users."

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Cumbersome (5, Informative)

(1+-sqrt(5))*(2**-1) (868173) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214853)

Playing around with it, I find it cumbersome compared to its Google analog; the drag behaviour, for instance, goes into a bizarre sticky mode.

Re:Cumbersome (5, Funny)

mikecito (777939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214869)

"Playing around with it, I find it cumbersome compared to its Google analog; the drag behaviour, for instance, goes into a bizarre sticky mode."

Well it probably gets sticky because you're playing around with it, a little too much. Some find it bizarre, others like it.

Re:Cumbersome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14214918)

Some find it bizarre, others like it.
Classic, dude; set myself up for that one.

Re:Cumbersome (1)

SpinJaunt (847897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214937)

the drag behaviour, for instance, goes into a bizarre sticky mode.
I agree and I wonder if the sucky mode is a feature though?..

Re:Cumbersome (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14215039)

No sucky for Googel-zealots today. Larry Page is still all drained from his 13 yo "intern" cock-whore-boy.

Re:Cumbersome (1)

jpaz (512242) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215030)

I had the same problem, though I'm using Firefox on Linux. Wonder if it'd be better on Windows with IE?

It does. (5, Interesting)

chaboud (231590) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215032)

I tried it with FF on Windows and IE. In IE, it feels great. With FF, it just sticks and sticks and sticks.

Re:It does. (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215110)

Happens on Opera as well.

The problem is that if you keep the mouse button depressed when you move out of the map area, it won't know if you release the mouse button later until you click it somewhere in the map area. But by then you've probably dragged away the map by mistake. :-p

Re:Cumbersome (3, Funny)

SilverspurG (844751) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215218)

Give them some credit. They're Microsoft. They're not as hot and agile as Google is. I think we should all congratulate Microsoft for a job well done and give them a fair chance at the future.

Re:Cumbersome (1)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215484)

Your comment goes brilliantly with your signature.

Re:Cumbersome (4, Interesting)

TaylorTAP (861647) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215342)

OK, why would I use this instead of Google again?

Let's compare a basic query from Google to MSN Lives.

http://local.google.com/maps?q=hospitals+near+stoc kton,+ca&hl=en [google.com]
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&ss=hospital s&cp=37.953792~-121.290691&style=h&lvl=11&sp=aN.34 .143119_-77.915445_road%20lake..%20make%20up%20you r%20mind_ [live.com]

First off, Google's URL is MUCH shorter for permalink.

But the real guts to this query is in the results.

As you can see Google returns much cleaner, relative results and has more results too. Not to mention a COLORED MAP that is UP TO DATE.

Live doesn't even have my house built on their map and that was back in 1996.

This data is especially meaningful to me because a few weeks ago I got a call from a nurse that my Mom had had a heartattack and the hospital was St. something but thanks to Cingulars wonderful reception I couldn't make out what the lady said.

Luckily, I had Google Local and it returned the right hospital almost instantly and allowed me to get in contact with the nurse again to find out that she was going to be alright.

Now, looking for the nearest Pizza Hut isn't that big of a deal but when somebodies life is involved, I wouldn't trust any other search provider.

Re:Cumbersome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14215512)

Yeah that's fucking annoying.

You can see my house from there (-1, Flamebait)

Sylvestre (45097) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214855)

neat! [ryjones.org]

Re:You can see my house from there (1)

Nezzari (927045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215034)

Big mistake my friend... big mistake...

Re:You can see my house from there (-1, Flamebait)

Dragoonmac (929292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215058)

I would reccommend never arguing/disagreeing with me or anyone about anything ever again, you just posted a picture of your house, complete with address on a forum full of people who remember (or at least claim to) the golden days of Jolly Roger, Phrack, and Mitnick... Sleep well.

Re:You can see my house from there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14215098)

Yeah Biotch, i gots your docss..!!! I'll send a penny to the person who posts the defcon voice bbs line number. 801...

Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few tweaks (5, Insightful)

tommers (893816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214858)

While the interface isn't as polished as Google Maps, the Bird's Eye View feature is just tremendous. I haven't found a single block in San Francisco that isn't covered and they all look really good. I can't wait for someone to write a GreaseMonkey plugin to tie this into Google Maps, since their hybrid view is still the best around (except when I want the higher resolution of Virtual Earth [in my area at least]).

And I'm not afraid to say: Wait to go Microsoft! They've created something very very cool that no one else has. While Google Maps and Google Earth were bigger steps in the evolution of maps, this is still quite a large one and I think Microsoft deserves more credit than they got when they first released Virtual Earth and probably more credit than Google FanBoys at Slashdot will grant them now.

That said, there are some annoying interface issues that make it less polished than Google Maps.
  1. Dragging feels unnatural and gets stuck. I feel like I have to drag a little, let go, and then drag some more. Don't see what's wrong with the way Google and Yahoo do it.
  2. While I can understand why you can't just drag around forever since perspective of the adjancent edges are all different, it would be great if they could make dragging between photos easier so I don't have to scroll up to the upper left to move up or down. Any thoughts on how this could be done more smoothly.
  3. There address parsing isn't as good as Google Maps.
  4. Even if it wouldn't be seamless, it seems they could still offer the option of scrolling around multiple photos in a mosaic format. Maybe they don't want to break the illusion that you are in this space by allowing you to have a mosaic view of all photos available in an area. Maybe someone can create this (though Microsoft will probably shut it down like Google shut down the Google Maps poster maker).
  5. And obviously greater coverage would be much appreciated.

The draggable-maps may have just created interface expectations that can't be met with these photos.

The Siteseeing link from their [live.com] blog [msn.com] is also very cool.

Re:Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few twe (2, Funny)

gid13 (620803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214889)

"Wait to go Microsoft!"
So you're saying I should keep using Google Maps and see how this project progresses later? ;)

Re:Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few twe (1)

QuantumLeaper (607189) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215008)

I agree with most of your comments but Google and Microsoft both use NAVTEQ, and both put my house about 1/2 block east of were I really live. The only thing different is Microsoft data from NAVTEQ is a year older then Googles.

The thing I like about is Microsoft doesn't put there name all over the maps like Google does. Also Microsoft maybe in B/W but they have better coverage in my Area. Other my city, Google has very bad coverage.

Re:Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few twe (1)

tommers (893816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215031)

I hadn't really thought about that, but it is pretty cool that they are releasing all these beautiful imagery without any visible watermarks.

Re:Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few twe (1)

bdcrazy (817679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215182)

Aside from the cool factor, i don't see the image itself being useful outside of special circumstances like, hey look, there is my house. Now if the images were projected corrected and orthoreferenced with a statement of accuracy, then it would be a different story.

Re:Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few twe (1)

tommers (893816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215312)

People say the same thing about Google Earth and Google Maps satellite imagery, but I use those all the times in useful ways. And this imagery is more useful. When I'm going somewhere, its great to be able to see what it looks like first. Itd be perfect for checking out a neighborhood when looking for an apartment/house, for exploring an area to bike/hike (if its in a metro area), and for looking for places to park, and just for fun.

While nothing in the maps space is as big of a step forward in terms of usefulness as the first online maps and directions were (draggable maps certainly comes closest), I think this is still a big step forward for maps and people will find many creative uses for it.

Re:Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few twe (3, Insightful)

robkill (259732) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215075)

And obviously greater coverage would be much appreciated.

The greater coverage will come as Pictometry scales up to fly over more cities. Their website mentions each pixel equates to roughly 6 inches on the ground. That's a lot of imagery to collect over major metropolitan areas. 8 bits per pixel, covering several thousand square kilometers at that resolution with 4 different viewing angles is a lot of data.

I'd like to see more geospatial information. Lat/Lon coordinates (at least WGS-84), height (ellipsoid or MSL), etc.

Re:Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few twe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14215083)

Yeah, MS has come up with some pretty cool things here, and google's got some pretty cool things there. In a world without patents, both sites would end up with the same pretty cool things and then they would move on to NEW new cool things to do.

Aside from UI issues, biggest gripe comparing MS to GOOG... google knows which side of the street even numbers are on, MS doesn't.

Re:Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few twe (1)

colonslash (544210) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215096)

...Google FanBoys...

Personally, I prefer the term gFanBoy.

Re:Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few twe (1)

Flammon (4726) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215166)

Sure, I give them full credit for copying what Google did. Good job Microsoft!

Re:Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few twe (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215214)

Actually, Microsoft had terraserver.microsoft.com in 1999, showing what could be done with SQL7.

Everything else has been a copy of that, if you want to go that route.

Re:Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few twe (1)

tommers (893816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215258)

They deserve that credit for their maps and satelite imagery. Even though I think Microsoft was working on something like this before GMaps came out, I'm sure VE would have been much different without GMaps.

But they deserve credit for Bird's Eye View, which no one else is doing and is more useful than satellite imagery when its available. I still think Google Earth is the most fun of the three, but Bird's Eye View is one of the coolest things I've seen in a while.

Re:Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few twe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14215308)

Hey gFanboy Google bought all of that technology. GMaps bought. GEarth bought. Seems like people like you have selective criticism of large companies buying technology. In this case MS developed all of this in house. Google bought it all.

Re:Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few twe (2, Insightful)

tommers (893816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215352)

To be fair, I think Google was already doing significant work on Google Maps before they acquired Keyhole. I'm sure the Keyhole people helped with a lot of the final touches and the integration of satellite imagery, but Google would still have released Google Maps (sans satellite) without the Keyhole acquisition.

But I do agree that Microsoft should get credit when they deserve it (which in this case I think they do)

Re:Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few twe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14215439)

The team that built Google maps was acquired by google. A small mapping company from australia. Keyhole was a seperate purchase. Neither technology was developed by Google. But so what?

Re:Bird's Eye view is amazing - just needs few twe (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215226)

Your post was good until you said "probably more credit then Google FanBoys at Slashdot will grant them" - are you purposely trying to be an ass to the Slashdot audience?

Why bird's eye could never have mosaiced images (2, Informative)

TimmyDee (713324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215613)

Even if it wouldn't be seamless, it seems they could still offer the option of scrolling around multiple photos in a mosaic format. Maybe they don't want to break the illusion that you are in this space by allowing you to have a mosaic view of all photos available in an area. Maybe someone can create this (though Microsoft will probably shut it down like Google shut down the Google Maps poster maker).

There's actually a reason why MS did what they did with the Bird's Eye imagery. Since it was taken at an angle (it's an oblique aerial photo), the edges of the images won't necessarily mosaic with the edges of the other images properly, giving us a weird, multi-perspective view. Some buildings would lean on way, while others would lean the opposite, even if they were neighbors.

Granted, this happens in vertical aerial photos like those Google has and MS has in their aerial photo section. However, this "leaning tower" effect is minimized because of the angle of the photo and special methods used to reduce such distortion (known as orthorectification). As such, orthophotos can be panned and scrolled without too much oddness, whereas oblique aerial photos (MS's Bird's Eye view) will look extremely awkward and thus will probably be stuck in a sort of static viewing mode.

What I don't understand... (1, Troll)

gid13 (620803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214866)

...is how One-Click Shopping can get patented, but Microsoft can get away with such blatant copies as this (of Google Maps), MSN Messenger (of ICQ), and so forth.

Re:What I don't understand... (1)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214904)

Come now. It is quite simple. Bill and Steve have as much money as God. They can keep it wrapped up in court until something better comes out and no one cares about this "technical but unintentional infraction".

Re:What I don't understand... (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214910)

Google was hardly the first one to have online maps.

Re:What I don't understand... (1)

gid13 (620803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215040)

I didn't say they were. Use the MS service for five minutes, think about the current market for five minutes, and it should be really obvious that MS is doing this in response to Google, not the others.

Specifically, the feature that MS copied that Google WAS the first to have (that I know of, anyway) was the map being draggable.

Re:What I don't understand... (3, Insightful)

CaymanIslandCarpedie (868408) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215314)

OK fanboy.

This stuff just drives me crazy!!!! MS was the first to bring online sat images to the net by about a decade. Google copied the concept, but its OK because you like Google better and you think thier product is amazing while the way MS did it sucks. Now MS copies a minor thing like draging an image and its just wrong!

To me this is not just a Google Live/MS Live issue. Same for iPod fan boys who go crazy when another MP3 play copies the color of the case or some stupid detail, but its fine that Apple copied all the functional ideas from others.

Everyone goes on and on about how competion is good, but as soon as someone does something similar to one of thier little "pet" products suddenly its just horrible (even if thier "pet" product is just as guilty as others of copying others).

My complaint isn't about Google or any specific product or company. EVERYONE COPIES EVERYONE ELSE!!!! Thats it, and you know what? Thats a great thing! That lets everyone gain from incremental improvements that are made because of the cycle of copy and improve (or as others would say "embrace and extend").

Intellectually I'm sure we all understand this, but somehow once its "our" product being copied in some little way, we go off bitching about it. STOP IT!!!!!

Re:What I don't understand... (1)

gid13 (620803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215599)

I think maybe my original point isn't getting through. It's probably my fault, since I've gotten troll mods as well as several responses like this. However, let me try to clarify: I am not bashing MS here. Google copied the concept of satellite maps, MS copied the draggable window, fine. As you say, everyone copies everyone else and it's a good thing when it improves the product.

What IS bothering me is patent law. It's stated goal is to protect innovation. Well, here are some examples of innovation (internet map availability, the draggable interface, and yes, even instant messaging) that are not at all protected. Now, as you say, everyone copies everyone else and it's a great thing. So what the hell good is patent law? All it does is end up protecting things like one-click shopping and not protecting real help.

Re:What I don't understand... (1)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214926)

Those weren't patented. I agree that one-click is really lame, but MS did nothing wrong. I actually like the Bird's Eye View feature much better that anything in Google Earth or Maps

Re:What I don't understand... (1)

gid13 (620803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214966)

Fair enough. So here's a question (no, I don't understand the patent system): If Google Maps was to apply for a patent (specifically with regard to their interface, which seems extremely familiar) now, what would happen? Would it be refused on the grounds that people (MS) have been using it already? Would it be granted, but MS could continue because they'd already been using it? Would it be granted and MS would be sued and/or forced to pay license fees?

Re:What I don't understand... (1)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215012)

Since Google technically got it first, they could get a patent and demand that MS pay royalties. Seeing as that is highly unlikely as there were sattelite imagery programs long before Maps or Virtual Earth, probably even before keyhole. (Google Earth's predecessor) Google isn't a patent whore, so this scenario is highly unlikely even if the patent would be granted. I'm wondering if maps of any type could count as prior art, but then again the 'digital' aspect would be included in a patent application.

Re:What I don't understand... (2, Informative)

gid13 (620803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215100)

I'm not talking about the concepts of satellite imagery or map sites. I'm talking about the draggable interface. It feels exactly like Google Maps.

Microsoft had maps online before Google (4, Insightful)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214927)

...its called Terraserver, and it predated Google by a good many years...

-everphilski-

Re:What I don't understand... (2, Insightful)

Dick_Stallmanat0r (937057) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214938)

While I don't agree that One-Click shopping should be patented, your post seems more like blatant MS bashing. Google Maps "copied" MapQuest and Yahoo Maps in the sense that they are both similar products. Google made some definate enhancements just as MS has in this case. And MSN is hardly a copy of ICQ, it is used to send instant messages over the internet but otherwise is completely different. Not to mention the fact that AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, and just about any other IM client under the sun does exactly the same thing.

I realize I will probably be modded Troll or Flamebait for refusing to join in on bashing MS, but come on people, this is just wrong.

Re:What I don't understand... (1)

gid13 (620803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215013)

Well, apparently I'm the troll today. Whatever.

Anyway, while it's obviously true that Google Maps isn't the first internet map product, it is also obvious that the new MS service has blatantly copied much of the interface from Google Maps, specifically the dragging behaviour.

Maybe this new service is even better than Google Maps, I don't know yet, all I know is that it feels like I'm using Google Maps.

You (and the mods) can call me a troll if you want, but if patent law is supposed to protect innovation, how is that happening here? Did the first IM client abandon protection by not filing for a patent? Would it have gotten protection if it did?

And I may have a tendency to bash MS from time to time, but I'm not even complaining about MS here. It's patent law that's bothering me right now. Shrug.

Re:What I don't understand... (1)

Ravatar (891374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215153)

It's funny that many of you guys furiously bash patent law until MS uses a technology similar to Google.

Re:What I don't understand... (1)

gid13 (620803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215171)

Well, as I said in the above post, I'm still happily bashing patent law.

My personal opinion is that especially in the case of online apps like these, people will be vastly best served if nobody's allowed to patent anything. Google should not be allowed to patent their draggable interface (and they apparently didn't anyway) and MS should not be allowed to patent anything they add, and both can continue incorporating the others' improvements.

Of course it'd be better if they were open source, since they could then DIRECTLY incorporate the others' improvements... But hey.

Re:What I don't understand... (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214942)

MSN's online maps copied Google Maps? That's news to me! IIRC, Terraserver [microsoft.com] came into existence not long after Google was incorporated... long before their maps.

Re:What I don't understand... (1)

gid13 (620803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215079)

Try Terraserver, and then try Windows Live Local. One of them seems suspiciously like Google Maps. One of them came to market at a time that seems suspiciously like they're trying to compete with Google Maps. Specifically, one of them uses the same draggable interface that Google Maps uses.

Also, my original post says 30% insightful, 30% informative, 20% flamebait. How does that get me modded down? And how does 30+30+20=100? Sigh.

Re:What I don't understand... (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215252)

Hey I got an idea - how about only until recently, browsers couldn't do "dragable" things?

Worldwide (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14214870)

For users outside of the US and UK Live Local is the better one. Google Maps/Local still ignores most parts of the world

Something weird... (3, Interesting)

Bill Walker (835082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214876)

If you do bird's eye view for my office [live.com] , there are tons of people in the street on 5th avenue. It's too disorganized to be a parade, and Madison has traffic on it, so it wasn't the blackout. There are also two circles of people in the northern part of the image. Anyone know what gives?

A race of some sort. (1)

theGreater (596196) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214970)

Marathon? That's what it looks like to me.

-theGreater.

Re:Something weird... (1)

colonslash (544210) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215198)

Thanks for that link! Did you notice the naked chick in one of those windows?

Re:Something weird... (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215494)

It might be from the compositing of images -- it might have all the people from 100 different images, even if there are only a dozen in each picture.

Re:Something weird... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14215508)

I'm certain that it's a street festival. If you notice, there are several groups of people circling a person or two (street peformers, my guess) and that traffic is still flowing perpendicular to the street. Also, they're too spread out to be in a race, and I think I see umbrellas here and there (vendors?). If anyone figures it out, I'd like to know if I'm right...

Cor (4, Interesting)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214877)

Works for me with Galeon under Linux. Looks like we're not being ignored anymore!

Re:Cor (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14214917)

Don't worry, they'll fix that soon.

Re:Cor (1)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215101)

I'm using galeon too (the best browser ever made), and right-click is not working for me, because I'm using gestures (they are quite useful ;).

Re:Cor (2, Informative)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215526)

Works for me with Galeon under Linux. Looks like we're not being ignored anymore!

But doesn't work under Safari... You know Bill must be pissed when their stuff works on Linux before it does on a Mac. I KEED! I KEED! No really.

Innovative (2, Insightful)

ReDiLect (936918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214883)

Lately it's google that comes up with the most innovative ideas and MS chasing their behinds. I wonder when the Google OS will appear..
--
http://www.e-guides.biz/ [e-guides.biz]

Re:Innovative (2, Funny)

Trip Ericson (864747) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214898)

But then Microsoft would have to release an operating system too! Oh, wait...

Re:Innovative (2, Insightful)

Dragoonmac (929292) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215097)

And when Google releases an OS it'll be cool for a month or two, then it'll start having bugs, and slashdot users will go eh... and then pretty soon we will all grow to hate google, make broken logo and monolithinc Larry Page icons. I mean, windows 3.1 was freakin awesome if you were a dos user tired of doing everything by command line and couldn't produce a copy of GEOS, man, I loved GEOS...

Zoom?? rubbish (0, Troll)

sumday (888112) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214920)

When you double click on the map, it "zooms" in. Problem is, they are using rasta* images at screen resolution, so this zoom looks shit and serves no purpose. What is especially crap is the fact that after the fake zoom in, it zooms you back out(this time without the silly animation) again for your new zoom level.

Sorry for excessive use of the word "zoom".


*When are we gonna get internet browsers that support popular vector file formats like .eps? Closest thing we have now is .swf which involves a 3rd party plugin.

Re:Zoom?? rubbish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14215093)

And where did the images came from in the first place? Digital Files or scanned images. Sounds like the best use of them is raster images, converting a raster image to a vector format is mainly useless without more information outside of files or scanned images.

Re:Zoom?? rubbish (1)

Twisted64 (837490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215192)

Problem is, they are using rasta* images

I'm pretty horrified at the thought of viewing a dreadlocked area of land, I must say :P

Re:Zoom?? rubbish (1)

mzwaterski (802371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215333)

When you double click to zoom, it zooms on the images, then replaces them with higher quality images as soon as they load. At least for me, it doesn't zoom back out.

Along the same lines, a feature that google missed: Scroll-wheel zooming!!! I've been missing this feature on Google's map interface since I was allowed to use it on Google Earth. Thanks MSFT!

I...like it... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14214958)

Fuck!

Initial Reactions (2, Informative)

funny-jack (741994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214965)

Like:
  • bird's eye view
  • right-click menu
Dislike:
  • funky dragging behavior
  • smooth dragging on bird's eye view is limited to a 3x3 square
  • much slower than Google Local/Maps overall.

Color Scheme (1)

alakon (657771) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214994)

I always wondered why the color schemes weren't uniform for Google maps. Do Brits have different anthropologized map visualization techniques than New Yorkers? See NYC [google.com] vs London [google.com] . Same thing for Microsoft. But it's still completely different, London compared with London. This same spot in London [live.com] has yellow/orange highways while Google shows them as green.

One aside, I don't like how so much information is embedded into the "permalink" - why is it relevant to embed my SEARCH HISTORY into the link? Here's an example. I searched "Central Avenue, Cheyenne, WY" then "6103 State Rt 44, Canfield, OH" (which it didn't recognize). Then I searched 125 Broad St, NY, NY. Here is the resulting permalink:
http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=40.70274 4~-74.011397&style=r&lvl=15&sp=adr.Central%20Ave%2 C%20Cheyenne%2C%20WY%2082001~adr.6103%20SR-44%2C%2 0Louisville%2C%20OH%2044641~adr.125%20Broad%20St%2 C%20New%20York%2C%20NY%2010004 [live.com]

Scratch pad (1)

davegust (624570) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215053)

That's because they persisted your scratch pad in the URL. I really like this feature as it allows me to share a scratch pad via a link without any server identity.

For me, the way Microsoft manages the search data is what makes Virtual Earth preferable to Google Maps. For example, when you interact with a map, the search results auto-update to reflect the current visible map.

Re:Color Scheme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14215114)

close the scratchpad before clicking 'permalink'

Try zooming London aerial all the way in (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215337)

It does not work in Windows Live, but it does with Google Maps.

Windows? (2, Insightful)

Maxmin (921568) | more than 8 years ago | (#14214999)

This is probably an obvious answer to /.ers, but what on earth does http://local.live.com/ [live.com] have to do with Windows (other than the o/s the service runs on?) This appears to be just another web app, with the windows adjective thrown in for no other reason than brand recognition.

And maybe it's also a sneaky effort on MS's part to convince internet users that dynamic DHTML+JS web pages are somehow related to their operating system... NOT. Kind of surprised it's not "MSN Local Live", or "MSN Live Local" or something... maybe that says something about where the MSN brand is going...

pros/cons (1)

abes (82351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215000)

The right-click feature is nice, but it could be better. Something I wish google-maps would implement for a while. Similar to how ppl have hacked google-maps for things like subways -- you shouldn't have to create a whole new webpage. If google-maps allowed you to create a file (e.g. say in your gmail account) that created predefined paths, how great would that be? User defined landmarks, paths, and comments (imagine you could put stickies anywhere you wanted) could make google-maps a *really* powerful and innovative tool. Something I won't expect M$ to ever do .. their right-click is more one-upmanship than actual innovation.

As for the bird-eye view -- very cool. The satellite maps don't do much much good. However, once again, somewhat limited. The map work in an almost similar way to google-map (albeit more clunky, and difficult to navigate with the mouse), but then there is a new view for birds-eye view.. not very compelling.

All in all, no good reason to jump ship. It doesn't appear to provide anything that google couldn't implement in a weekend, and the technology isn't nearly as polished. Google may open 'beta' to the public, but it's usually pretty well-polished by the time the casual user gets to it. Even small things, like google still has trouble with some addresses, is not nearly to the degree that live-maps is having..

Re:pros/cons (1)

abes (82351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215016)

After playing around some more, I did notice some other cool features. The compass allows you to switch orientation. Also, the scratch pad at least implements some of my previous rants .. although the lesser of them.

Re:pros/cons (1)

tommers (893816) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215082)

While there aren't many interface features that beat Google, I don't think the bird's eye view functionality is simple and Pictometry International may be the only company with extensive imagery like this.

I wonder if Microsoft has an exclusive relationship with Pictometry International. Probably wouldn't be in PI's best interest, but Microsoft could definitely buy their best interest.

Re:pros/cons (1)

theqmann (716953) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215323)

The right-click feature is nice, but it could be better. Something I wish google-maps would implement for a while. Similar to how ppl have hacked google-maps for things like subways -- you shouldn't have to create a whole new webpage. If google-maps allowed you to create a file (e.g. say in your gmail account) that created predefined paths, how great would that be? User defined landmarks, paths, and comments (imagine you could put stickies anywhere you wanted) could make google-maps a *really* powerful and innovative tool. Something I won't expect M$ to ever do .. their right-click is more one-upmanship than actual innovation.

Thats what Google Earth [google.com] is for!

No pizza places nearby? (1)

ScottyH (791307) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215046)

This is the case according to Windows live. Google local reports 8 pizza places within a few kilometers of my house. I do like my pizza.

And man is that Windows Live interface terrible. The scaling of images to zoom in looks terrible.

On that note, I will continue to use Google.

You'd think they'd learn (1)

robogun (466062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215078)

Looks like Gates has dug up the corpse of Sidewalk [wikipedia.org] , sewn it back together, and is now presenting it as something shiny and brand new.

Bill Gate's crib (3, Informative)

mcguyver (589810) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215118)

Bill Gate's huge pad [live.com] . Neet.

Re:Bill Gate's crib (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215178)

Are the trees on it cut and pasted?

Re:Bill Gate's crib (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14215276)

Too bad there isn't a "bomb it" option on the right click menu. :)

Chicago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14215108)

Good thing they don't have a Bird's Eye View of Chicago, nobody lives in that tiny town. Give me Lexington, KY any day!

That's just jealousy talking. It's quite beautiful.

Re:Chicago? (1)

Vorondil28 (864578) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215241)

I live in Lexington, you insensitive clod!

In Other News... (1)

difster (318632) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215112)

The entire city of Los Angeles suffered a BSD after the launch of Windows Live Local, a new mapping service by Microsoft.

Google Maps vs Windows Live (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215120)

I did the same exact hybrid view of a location, it was the identical satellite photo, but not identical quality. The Google picture honestly did look clearer, the Microsoft picture had a more 'tan' tone to it.

The Windows 'Welcome' popup box was very unimpressive. London, England did not work in WinLive zoomed all the way in (you get faded camera icons with slashes through them,) Google Maps worked fine all the way zoomed in to Parliament Square.
WinLive gave me an 'Orbitz' popup ad when I did a new search, Google Maps did not give me any popup ads to X out of. Overall, Google was a better experience, in my opinion.

The best is Google Earth. Nothing is as cool as spinning the world on its axis :)
http://earth.google.com/images/earth2.jpg [google.com]

EEE strategy in action again (1)

Filthysock (557067) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215161)

windows live
- IE is smooth as silk
- Firefox is all sticky and wierd

google
- IE smooth
- Firefox smooth

Very nice and subtle there microsoft, make it work on firefox but make it kinda of crappy so when someone uses (accidently) IE to view your stuff, they'll go "holy shit! IE is so much smoother and faster at the interweb! Order me 10 copies of Vista to go!"

Re:EEE strategy in action again (1)

Vorondil28 (864578) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215220)

Exactly. If you've used MS Outlook Web Access (Exchange) vs Gmail, you'll find the same thing.

Re:EEE strategy in action again (1)

yerdaddie (313155) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215279)

In addition:

windows live
-safari doesn't work

But this birds-eye view thing is really interesting. Being able to rotate the viewpoint and see satalite images from different perspectives is excellent.

They couldnt wait to fill it with spyware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14215224)


http://stj.msn.com/br/om/js/s_code.js [msn.com]
thats actually flagged by anti-spyware programs [ca.com] as a threat
you know ?, from the same company that was involved in the verisign wildcard redirect webbug [google.com] , and you think Doubleclick is bad,

and they want you to bookmark their site ? , iam more likely to add them to the firewall, the thing isnt even finished yet and already Microsoft want to track and bug your everymove as if cross site cookie exploits [pc-help.org] are not enough.

Trust is a bitch to regain, anything to do with MSN is a privacy and security risk (see where msie goes to first (only once) after a fresh install on windows) and should be treated with same contempt as they have for you

anything MS do on the web is cold, hence they "dont get it"

--$

Pushpins... (1)

gregoryb (306233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215270)

The adding/deleting pushpins feature is decently helpful, works pretty well, and getting closer to a feature I really want to see added to ANY of these map services.... WAYPOINTS! I can't tell you the number of times I've needed directions from point A to point B, but needed to get there via some point C in the middle. I want to be able to easily map my route from Maryland to North Carolina by way of Kansas, dangit!

live has better resolution (1)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215305)

for a fairly rural area in WA state, live gets in much closer. looking at the scale listed at the bottom of the maps, which looks like about an inch for both systems, live gets down to 100 yards (albeit in black & white), and google 2000 ft. even at the 2000ft level, google is very grainy and pixelated. at 100 yards, live still offers a fairly high-res image.

for reference the address entered was "camano hill rd, camano island, wa".

for an urban location in san jose, ca, live gets down to 30 yards, and google 200 feet.

right click (2, Interesting)

sunwolf (853208) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215340)

I really love the right click features - getting directions to and from places you don't know the exact addresses of are a godsend.

Virtual Earth == Virtual US (1)

hvrbyte (537069) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215476)

Virtual Earth should really be named Virtual US.

At least Google Maps works fine for us Canadians (and I believe it does for the UK as well).

In Google's version it even works for some out of the way places like South Africa.

Why can't Microsoft with their unlimited funds get info on the rest of the world?

When.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14215477)

When will one of these start mapping other countries? I'd love to use google maps Australia. For now all I can tell is that it has a nice interface, many users such as myself really don't know if any of these online map services will be useful to them.

More reading on CNET and Directions Mag (1)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215492)

http://news.com.com/Microsoft+offers+a+new+angle+o n+maps/2100-1032_3-5986057.html?tag=nefd.top [com.com]

http://www.directionsmag.com/article.php?article_i d=2047 [directionsmag.com]

Directions Mag is/will probably provide a deeper analysis since it target specifically the geospatial domain, not general technology.

Don't Ask (1)

MrCopilot (871878) | more than 8 years ago | (#14215584)

This by far sums up Microsoft better than any other sentence I've ever read or heard or even said.

Found Located in the settings box.

[]Don't ask about installing Microsoft Location Finder

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