When we launched the initial beta of Virtual Earth in the summer, we talked about how we are set to create an immersive experience in local search and mapping. During the last couple of months, we got great deal of feedback from you suggesting new features and sending us bugs – so thank you for your support! Now, we are back with new and exciting features (and don’t just take our word for it, both Michael Arrington and Charlene Li have reviews) to our latest release of Virtual Earth! With this release, Virtual Earth is now part of the Windows Live Family and can be found at http://local.live.com.
With Windows Live Local, you get all that you had with Virtual Earth and the following new and exciting features:
Stunning Bird’s Eye Imagery: Now you can see 45-degree bird’s-eye view of major U.S. cities that include Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle. This feature also gives you a 360-degree panoramic view of the 45-degree angle scenes of your favorite cities! Like this one and the ones posted on the Virtual Earth team blog.
Custom Pushpins: The Windows Live Local map is now right-click enabled! You can right-click on any place and add your own Pushpin – think of writing a note about where you live and send it off to your friends or imagine pin-pointing a location along side a street indicating where you need to be picked up by your friend – now you can do all that!
Driving Directions: Regular Driving directions with highly customizable printing experience; don’t forget that you can right-click on the map to set origin or destination – no need to know an address to get directions anymore!
Improved and easy-to-use user interface: Tons of updates to the zoom control, pan control, bird’s eye view indicator and so on to help you navigate Windows Live Local better!
If you are a developer – you should move your mashups to the libraries that mentioned in my previous post as soon as possible – and if you are curious about using the latest map control with the current release, stay tuned, I will have more details on my developer blog.
Finally, despite the domain change from virtualearth to live.com, your old permalinks should just work fine with the new http://local.live.com site.
If you are looking for more information on features, tips and tricks and more, check back on Virtual Earth team blog often!
SDE Lead, Virtual Earth
On behalf of the Virtual Earth and MapPoint team