UK, 04 April 2007: Microsoft has extended the 3D capabilities of its Live Search Maps service to the UK. Buildings in cities, Plymouth, Cardiff, Bristol, Gloucester and Wolverhampton are now displayed in 3D. Additional cities will be added in the future, a company spokesperson said.
The 3D images provide a more realistic view of city centres allowing users to ‘fly’ around buildings and view them from all sides. The images of buildings are created with the Vexcel mapping software that Microsoft acquired last year.
The addition of UK cities is part of a larger update. Microsoft added total of 16 cities, including San Diego in California and Portland in Oregon.
Live Search Maps requires a special browser plug-in that was previously available only for Internet Explorer. As part of the update, the company now has also released a Firefox plug-in. Microsoft has also added features such as traffic condition overlays displayed when users look up directions.
Businesses listed on the maps have started linking to ratings and reviews, and results from the mapping service will automatically be included when users perform a local search query in Microsoft’s Live Search engine.