USA: Microsoft has recently introduced Live Maps Finland, a release made possible by the continuous evolution of Virtual Earth. Chris Pendleton, Virtual Earth tech evangelist, revealed that Live Maps Finland managed to use almost exclusively the Virtual Earth platform. In this context, Finish users now have access to Katu (Road Maps), Ilmakuva (Aerial imagery), and Lintuperspektiivi (Bird’s Eye imagery).
“The route coverage for Finland is excellent in Virtual Earth, so you’ll see tons of roads throughout the country. We have everything, from low resolution satellite imagery to high resolution aerial photography. We’ve published gigabytes of photography for different areas in Finland in Virtual Earth, and now the Live Search team in Finland is leveraging it for their local site” informed Chris.
The new Live Maps Finland comes with the 3D view, enabling users to access not only imagery, location, and road information related to specific destinations in Finland, but also three dimensional cities around the country. Thanks to the Bird’s Eye overlay capabilities, 3D view models can be overlaid with Virtual Earth’s Bird’s Eye imagery.
Live Maps Finland has even more to offer, including Merkit (Labels) that are tailored to the different aerial modes. Moreover, just as the English-variant of Live Maps, the Finish version allows users to take advantage of the integration of the Yellow Pages with Virtual Earth via Yritys (Search Yellow Pages).
Microsoft is also providing functionality aimed at making user-generated content explorable. Kokoelman Nimi (Explore Collections) streamlines navigation of content published by end-users on the platform. Furthermore, in this regard, the Redmond company has made it easy for users to embed maps on their websites or blogs via Jaa (Share).
Pendleton described more additional features, including “Ajo-ohjeet (Directions) – The routing engine now allows the creation directions using nopein reitti (rapid itinerary), lyhin reitti (shortest itinerary), or kävelymatka (walking) algorithms. Walking directions is available in the Virtual Earth, giving users the quickest way suitable for pedestrians. Tulosta (Print) – The site provides you with a specific style sheet setup just for printing. Other features: Outlook vCards: Business addresses can be opened as vCards in Outlook. Market header: This allows users to switch to another market, if they don’t like being redirected to the Finnish site. Virtual Earth Web Service for geo-coding. Improved UX: Better error handling and smaller changes to improve the user experience.”