Mink Machine

Google Maps versus Virtual Earth

The map war between Google and Microsoft has recently gone full throttle. In response to Google Maps, today Microsoft launched Virtual Earth. In standard software tradition they “happened” to delete the Apple headquarter from the map. Oops, we did it again. But here is the Google building, have a look while it’s still there.

On the other hand, Google are certainly not being lazy either. They are already shipping hybrid maps combining regular maps with the satellite photos, as well as the more-fun-than-necessary Google Moon! (don’t forget to zoom in to maximum level).

In general, the aerial imagery is better on Google Maps, but the older Virtual Earth maps are good on selected spots. For instance, compare the Hollywood sign on VE version with GM version, as well as Pentagon on VE and GM. Want to compare Google Maps to MSN’s Virtual Earth by a simple click? Try FlashEarth.

2005 really feels as the year of the map war. Who will stand victorious as the dust settles? The following months will be very exciting!

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