Microsoft is unveiling an upgrade to its online mapping service called Virtual Earth 3D, which offers three-dimensional models of metropolitan areas. The service can be accessed through Microsoft's Live Search, at http://live.com, and shows users three-dimensional maps of 15 cities, including Seattle.
A view of Seattle on Microsoft VirtualEarth 3D mapping service.
It doesn't look like the upgrade is available yet, though; the site promises "a new dimension in search" Nov. 7. From the demonstration of the service I saw recently, you can go there on days like today to remember what Seattle looks like when the sun is out.
You can "fly" around the city, zooming in to see a pretty good level of detail. But don't hit that Coca-Cola billboard flashing atop Qwest Field.
It's much soggier today, but here's a VirtualEarth view of Qwest Field.
Yep, the maps will have virtual billboards positioned on the tops of buildings and in other places. Microsoft intends to sell advertising for those billboards, and will mostly be tapping into the advertising network created by Massive, the company it acquired earlier this year that is selling ad placement in video games.
Oh, and if you're keeping score, Windows Live Local is now being called Windows Live Search Maps. Windows Live changes names more often than Sean Combs.