Friday, February 29, 2008

Google Maps vs Microsoft Virtual Earth

For those people who don't want to read and just wanna play, here's the demosite:

After working with Google Maps and wanting to review Microsoft Virtual Earth I thought I'd have a look and see what the differences and similarities are. I also noticed that not everybody knows of the existence of Microsoft Virtual Earth (VE). Nice opportunity to change that as well :)

Virtual Earth is an application like Google Maps and has almost the same abilities. There are a few minor differences (for as far as I noticed creating the demo application).

One of the differences is the appearance of the controls. It's a matter of taste, but imho VE looks better than Maps.

image 1: Google Maps 

image 2: Microsoft Virtual Earth

Diving in a bit deeper, into the code, its the about the same story. Implementation is comparable. Only a few different implementations of events and stuff like that. No problems or difficulties with either one while creating the demo app.
One major difference I notices was the extra view option "Bird's eye". This is a sort of an aerial photo but from an angle which gives a better experience than the aerial one:

image 3: Bird's eye view

In my opinion both of these map tools are comparable and quite easy to use. My preference for a map tool is Virtual Earth because of the Bird's eye view and the nicer controls.

Microsoft is also working on MapCruncher for Microsoft Virtual Earth. This tool can be used to importing, layering and sharing maps using the Virtual Earth platform. Maybe I'll check that out later on.

If you want to tryout Google Maps and Live Earth for yourself, I made a webpage that holds both of the controls.
You can find it here:

More info:

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