The VE team made two exciting announcements for developers at this weeks PDC – one practical, the other just pure fun. Let’s get practical out of the way first.
The other big news was the announcement of a contest for Virtual Earth developers. Build a Virtual Earth powered application before October 14th for a chance to win the 1000 dollar grand prize. There will also be 25 bundles of Streets and Trips with a GPS device awarded to the first 25 entries received. Get all of the details ViaVirtualEarth.
In non-developer news this week, many members of the Virtual Earth and MSNBC teams volunteered a lot of hours to get a flyover application together to assist families displaced by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It allows them to get a low altitude aerial view of their homes and neighborhoods. I received an email this morning from a father who was able to use the site to help his daughter in a claim against her car insurance company who wanted to see proof of her loss – not easy to do if your home is still under 8 feet of water and you can’t get to it. Using the bird’s eye imagery, they were able to convince the insurance agent that indeed her car was completely lost. I can only hope that in some small way this application can help others trying to get their lives back to normal in the region. If you want to assist, a donation to the Red Cross is always needed.
Steve Lombardi and the Virtual Earth Team