25 May 2006: Microsoft has introduced a UK version of its Virtual Earth mapping service. Included is some 230 miles of aerial photography including London, Portsmouth, Southampton and Cambridge.
Microsoft has added the street names to the photographs to help with identification. Microsoft says it expects to extend the photography to include 80 per cent of Europe over the next two years.
Along with the maps, the British Local Live service offers navigation instructions for drivers to destinations around the UK. The service is also linked with a database of local businesses such as the usual pizza delivery services through to a selection of ‘popular searches’, which includes those must-have services like dry cleaners and plumbers within the currently displayed area.
Users can also save their data on a ‘scratchpad’ using their Microsoft ID, Hotmail or Messenger accounts. There is also the option to make the maps and location information ‘public’ with contacts in Messenger.