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Category Archives: Virtual Earth

Shepparton and Mooroopna – and other Australian cities/towns that have new imagery on Live Maps

Shepparton CBD (western end)
Shepparton CBD (western end)
Mooroopna shopping centre
Mooroopna shopping centre

New imagery was added to Live Maps the other day so now you can view Shepparton and Mooroopna in the updated ortho view. Click either of the above maps to be taken to Live Maps so you can do some exploring.

Other towns in Australia that now enjoy updated ortho imagery are:

  • Bacchus Marsh
  • Bunbury
  • Bundaberg
  • Coffs Harbour
  • Colac
  • Drysdale Clifton Springs
  • Fort Dundas
  • Geraldton
  • Hervey Bay
  • Kalgoorie and Boulder
  • Kingston
  • Lismore
  • Lithgow
  • Macquarie Island
  • Nguiu
  • Rockhampton
  • Warragul
  • Whyalla

For a complete list of the March update to Live Maps imagery, see this post from the Live Maps / Virtual Earth team.


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Posted using the 2009 version of Windows Live Writer

Show me the way to Amarillo

Remember the days when an atlas was compulsory on the school book list? Then we had homework that consisted mainly finding capital cities, rivers and mountains. We traced maps out of our atlas and coloured them in (tracing paper was another tool we required in those times).

Now that we have web resources such as Live Maps (Live Search Maps to give it its full name – you’ll see why in a minute) we can locate a city and, in a whiz, have a list of restaurants, plumbers, hotels and theatres all located on the map we’re viewing.

We can search for towns, cities, regions and landmarks – and plumbers, electricians or takeaways (that’s where the Search in Live Search Maps comes into the picture).


The businesses or locations we search for will be clearly displayed on our Live Map and as we pan the map, new items will be displayed from our search query. For example, try searching for hotels around your local town and then pan the map to another nearby town or city. By the way, the way this works is that Live Maps shows those businesses who have registered with Yellowpages.

Our school atlas couldn’t give us directions from, say, our home to our relatives in our capital city. So obtaining driving directions is another feature of the web’s online maps. You can try obtaining directions from your home to the MCG when your team reaches the Grand Final.

On Live Maps, a click on the Collections button opens up more possibilities. Leaving aside the ability to add various locations to your own list which you can save and thus come back to at a later time, there is a set of drawing tools.


These tools enable you to carry out tasks such as finding the straight line distance between two places or the area of  selected region of the map. For example, you could obtain the length of the street you live in or the area of your house block.



Perhaps you’re looking at buying some real estate and want to do some checking for yourself – put Live Maps to work to obtain the information you need. In fact you’ll find that more real estate agents are using Live Maps to show off the properties they have for sale or rent.

Naturally big events have their place in the world of maps. So, for example, the BBC have an interactive map of all the locations where the various sports will be held in Beijing and you can spend some time familiarising yourself with the city. If sport is not your thing, in Live Maps go to the Collections button and choose Explore collections to plan your next overseas trip.

Homework: how many banks are available in the Amarillo area?

Here are some sites you should browse to see more about what webDotWiz has mentioned above:


Posted using the Tech Preview of Windows Live Writer.

See the world on Live Maps

Over a cuppa the other day the webDotWizards at Rushworth Community House were running through all the computer jobs that were pending:

And so the list grew.

In the end some of us called up Office Live Workspace, created a to-do task list and began filling in what we’ve got to catch up on. Then somebody mentioned that there had been an update to the imagery on Live Maps with bird’s eye views of Hobart, Sydney, Gold Coast and Wollongong. So it was off to explore.

Go to http://maps.live.com in your browser, enter sydney, click Locations then the Search Maps button.

Sydney, Australia

We’ll return to the Explore collections link later (if time and space allow) but clicking will give you lists of places that other people around the world have contributed. They’re all related to Sydney because that’s where our focus is at the moment. If you were to re-locate the map to another city or region, the list of highlights would adjust.

The interesting feature we notice for Sydney is that the Bird’s eye link is bolded so that means we can use this view. Let’s click it and see what we get.

Sydney CBD in bird's eye view

The road-view small map at the top right can be used to pan around the bird’s eye view. Note the trapezium shape blue highlighted area which designates the current view (the trapezium shape comes about because the plane cameras are aimed obliquely to capture the edges of buildings and terrain). You can pan the map using this thumbnail image or pan the large view. Remember that the scrollwheel zooms in and out. To get a better view, let’s remove the left-hand pane – you can either click the X or drag the divider to the left. Now we’ve got a larger map area to explore.

Sydney CBD in bird's eye view expaned to fill browser window

On the left of the navigation menu you’ll see we’re facing north and below there’s a + button so we can zoom in. Because we’re in bird’s eye view, we can rotate our view using the two curly arrows at the bottom of the navigation pane.

Navigation pane controls

Let’s rotate the camera clockwise to change our view.

Sydney CBD looking eastward

Now the compass is pointing eastwards to the top of the screen, north is to the left – check the way George St is running, for example. So in this shot, Circular Quay and the Opera House is to the left and that’s the direction we’d have to pan to view these Sydney highlights. Let’s rotate our view back so north is at the top of the screen and head down to Circular Quay.

After going up George St (panning north) and taking a look at some of the commercial buildings along the way (particularly those at the top of George St), we pan a little eastwards and come to Circular Quay.

Circular Quay, Sydney

Panning further eastwards and a little northwards, we arrive at  this landmark.

Sydney Opera House

Here’s the view looking south (a couple of clicks on the rotate arrow) and zooming in for more detail (click the + button until it greys out).

Sydney Opera House looking south

Now you should be ready to travel the world. Before you go, though, go westwards to view another famous structure. You might like to pan around a little and explore The Rocks.

Then you can head off to the Gold Coast, Wollongong and Hobart for more bird’s eye viewing. It won’t be too long before other Australian cities have the bird’s eye feature (imagery is usually updated each month for cities and regions on a world-wide basis).

One more thing before heading overseas, spend some time exploring Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong which only have the normal oblique imagery at the moment but there’s plenty to see. For example in Bendigo, find the historic sandstone police barracks building.

If buildings aren’t your interest, there are planes to be observed (e.g., O’Hare airport in Chicago or Heathrow near London), trains to be spotted at Waterloo Station, London, and Marseille, France, shipping containers by the tens of thousands at the Port of Los Angeles, world famous gold courses, or you might prefer a sight-seeing tour of Venice or Rome.

Posted with the help of Windows Live Writer, Microsoft OneNote, Paint.NET and Live Search Maps.

Live Maps update

Courtesy of LiveSide:

Just checked on maps.live.com and noticed a bunch of new features, and checked with the Virtual Earth / Live Maps blog and sure enough the new release is now live.


Denver in 3D (you really have to try it out, much improved!)

Man there’s a lot of stuff here.  Just taking the high points from Steve Lombardi’s blog post:

  • Lots of back end improvements (seems much snappier, right off the bat)
  • Safari and IE8 compatibility
  • Map Control update to version 6.1 (for developers
  • Export your Collection to your Nav/GPS device (nice!)
  • Improved "version 2" cities (Las Vegas, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix to start, lots more to come)
  • 3D modeling with 3DVIA (much improved)
  • Labels for Bird’s Eye imagery
  • 1-Click Directions improvments
  • MapCruncher integration (this is very cool, add layers of information from within Live Maps)
  • "GeoWeb" tagging and collections enhancements
  • Neighborhood Subscribe via GeoRSS
  • Tour Enhancements including Hi-Def Movies
  • Directions and Traffic Enhancements
  • Improved KML display including Google MyMaps links

So much stuff it’s going to take a lot more than one post to tell you about.  Check out Live Maps, and the Virtual Earth / Live Maps blog and let us know what you think in the comments.

Posted using Windows Live Writer.

Talking about New Birds Eye and 3D cities in Virtual Earth. Portugal, Italy, and Austria get big updates.

There’s a big list of updated cities that have new imagery (see below) so this is the easiest way to pass on the latest Live Maps/Virtual Earth news Smile


New Birds Eye and 3D cities in Virtual Earth. Portugal, Italy, and Austria get big updates.

The latest monthly update of maps is complete. Highlights include all maps for North America republished with the latest NavteQ street data, new JD Barnes aerial imagery in Canada, and lots of new aerial imagery in India and China. Below is a list of new and expanded Birds Eye and 3D cities as well.

I’m glad to see the Birds eye in Portugal getting a big lift.


New/Updated Birds Eye Cities in the US

  • Etowah Co, AL
  • Mobile Co, AL
  • Monterey Co, CA
  • Boulder Co
  • Broomfield Co
  • WashingtonDC.
  • Cobb Co, GA
  • De Kalb Co, GA
  • Muscogee Co, GA
  • Macon Co, IL
  • Will Co, IL
  • Rowan Co, KY
  • Fayette Co, KY
  • Anne Arundel Co, MD
  • Grand Rapids Metro, MI
  • Detroit Metro North, MI
  • Cottonwood Co, MN
  • Buncombe Co, NC
  • Greenville Metro, NC
  • Wilson Co, NC
  • Lancaster Co, NE
  • Strafford Co, NH
  • San Juan Co, NM
  • Binghamton Metro, NY
  • Butler Co, PA
  • Westmoreland Co, PA
  • Greenwood Co, SC
  • Williamson Co, TX
  • Fisher Co, TX
  • Salt Lake City Metro, UT
  • Hampton Metro, VA
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Arlington Co, VA
  • Spokane, WA

New/Updated Birds Eye Cities in Europe

  • London, UK
  • Medway Towns Urban Area, UK
  • Islwyn, UK
  • Leighton-Buzzard, UK
  • Londonderry, UK
  • Galway, Ireland
  • Reims, France
  • Besancon, France
  • Chalon, France
  • Strasbourg, France
  • Belfort, France
  • Colmar, France
  • Metz, France
  • Mulhouse, France
  • Nancy, France
  • Troyes, France
  • Parma (integration), France
  • BustArsizio/Legnano, Italy
  • Alghero, Italy
  • Como, Italy
  • Empoli, Italy
  • Enna, Italy
  • Frosinone, Italy
  • Gorizia, Italy
  • Isernia, Italy
  • Mantova (integration), Italy
  • Nuoro, Italy
  • Oristano, Italy
  • Foligno, Italy
  • Marsala, Italy
  • Modica, Italy
  • Siracusa, Italy
  • Varese, Italy
  • Vittoria, Italy
  • Rieti, Italy
  • San Marino, Italy
  • Urbino, Italy
  • Verbania, Italy
  • VibValentia, Italy
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Faro, Portugal
  • Aveiro, Portugal
  • Braga, Portugal
  • Coimbra, Portugal
  • Guimaraes, Portugal
  • Leiria, Portugal
  • Porto, Portugal
  • Setubal, Portugal
  • Austria
  • Innsbruck, Austria
  • Klagenfurt, Austria
  • Linz, Austria
  • Salzburg, Austria
  • St. Polten (Sankt Pelten), Austria
  • Villach, Austria
  • Wels, Austria
  • Germany
  • Lüdenschied, Germany
  • Norway
  • Bergen, Norway
  • Stavanger, Norway
  • Denmark
  • Herning, Denmark
  • Horsens, Denmark
  • Silkeborg, Denmark
  • Vejle, Denmark
  • Spain
  • Arrecife, Spain
  • Santa Lucia de Tiranjana, Spain
  • Finland
  • Hamnlinna, Finland
  • Belgium
  • Mouscron (Mouskroen), Belgium

New/Enhanced 3D cities


  • Vannes

Great Britain

  • Southampton


  • Pueblo


  • Bridgeport
  • Stamford


  • Portland


  • Battle Creek
  • Grand Rapids
  • Warren


  • Springfield



  • Billings

New Jersey

  • Trenton


  • Henderson
  • Sunrise Manor

New York

  • Rochester
  • Syracuse


  • Allentown


  • Olympia
  • Yakima


  • La Crosse
  • Madison

Searching the GeoWeb – exploring collections in Live Maps

One of the new features in the latest update to Live Maps is being able to locate items of interest (e.g., landmarks, buildings, famous sights) by exploring Live Map collections and other collections on the ‘Net (e.g., KML collections).

All these collections – contributed by you and me – make up the GeoWeb and Live Search is currently trawling (the tech term is crawling but trawling brings a more relevant image to mind for webDotWiz) the ‘Net to index all such geo data for us to use when we want to find an item in Live Maps.

In a write-up titled GeoWeb Exploration – Mining Information from Collections and KML the Virtual Earth/Live Maps team gives an example of finding what the area around the Trevi Fountain (featured in Fellini’s film La Dolce Vita) might look like. This post adds a few more steps and screenshots to what the Virtual Earth/Live Maps team did. As well a couple of local examples will be left for you explore.

Assuming you’ve read the above article to get an idea of where to start our search, we firstly enter our search query dolce vita in rome italy. Note Live Maps now has only one search box – whoopee (and Dare is now very happy, too):


and before clicking the Search button, we choose Collections:


After a click on the Search button, the left-hand side of the screen lists locations from various collections:


and on the map to the right we immediately get pushpins related to each item in the list above:


Either from reading the description of locations in the list or hovering your mouse over each pushpin, you’ll find that pushpin no. 7 is probably the best bet to give us the location of the Trevi Fountain and what its surroundings are.

Another way to go about our search is to enter Trevi Fountain in the search box, leave Collections turned on and click the Search button:


We’ve now got a different list of locations and the map shows them (we’ve zoomed in and turned on Bird’s Eye view):


Another way of getting better information about what buildings are around the Trevi Fountain location is to use the Explore collections feature. You get to that by going to Collections over at the top right:


Click and choose Explore collections:


Live Maps now mines data from public Live Map collections from users such as you and I (you’ll see a good example at the end of this post and we get lots more relevant info:


…as indicated by the increase in the number of pushpins on our map:


Now let’s look at an example closer to home. We’ll do a search to locate Rushworth and try a simpler way to Explore collections to see what we get (hint: webDotWiz knows we should be able to come up with at least one collection because he submitted it some time ago when the Live Maps/Virtual Earth team were asking for collections; webDotWiz didn’t know, however, what the team were planning):


You only need to enter Rushworth in the search box. Note we’ve chosen Locations so we get a map and the Explore collections link:


So what do we get when we click on Explore collections?


(webDotWiz must speak to himself when he’s next at the Rushworth Community House and fix that missing photo).

You’ll see that Live Maps has found entries from a Live Maps collection called Rushworth and district services.

If you try this search for Rushworth yourself using Explore collections, you’ll also get to entries from the The Early Families of Whroo collection.

In both cases, these examples not only locate Rushworth and Whroo on a map, but you get lots more information about what services are available in Rushworth and a history of where the early families of Whroo lived in the 1850’s. Here’s what you see on the Rushworth map:


The Explore collections is one of several new features as of the result of updates of October 16 2007 but it’s a fun way to get more information about a place you’re looking at on a map from data put together by… us! So, explore and have fun .

Posted using Windows Live Writer.

Talking about You want MORE, BETTER, NEWER imagery?

 A long list of locations which have improved imagery (follow the link below to the original post on the Virtual Earth developer blog).

webDotWiz hasn’t had time to investigate as yet and will post some screenshots of what he finds when there’s more time.


Virtual Earth, a developer blog : You want MORE, BETTER, NEWER imagery?

More new imagery on Live Maps/Virtual Earth

Another 11 terabytes of new imagery iss being added to Live Maps, as of May 23.

You can browse through the complete list of countries and cities on the Virtual Earth Developer Blog but here is a selection:

Hi-res: Toronto Canada, Queens NY, Saint Paul/Minneapolis MN, Cardiff, Briston, Swindon

Hi-res ortho of a number of U.S. cities, including Kansas City MO, Chicago IL, Pittsburg PA

Bird’s eye: some regions in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Finland, Netherlands, Spain, Norway, Switzerland, Denmark and Belgium

Higher-res satellite of many areas, including Canberra AU.

Virtual Earth for developers

Well, actually don’t dismiss this post if you’re not a professional programmer and web developer because there are a number of ways you can easily get into seeing how the Virtual Earth mapping system works with a little bit of Javascript code and use it on your own web site.

For example, it didn’t take George long to put up a map on his Bills Horse Troughs site; there’s also one at the Rushworth Community House site. All it took was a copy and paste and a change to a string of characters.

So a read of the Virtual Earth/Live Maps team’s Virtual Earth API V5 post of April 27 is worthwhile.

If you want to see the API in action, have a look at Keith Kinnan’s blog, e.g. this one, Importing Virtual Earth Collections into VEShapeLayers. One of Keith’s demos is here which uses a Live Maps collection.

More new imagery on Live Maps

Live Maps (maps.live.com) was updated the other day with more new imagery.

From the Live Maps/Virtual Earth team space:

New 3D:

  • Canada: Calgary.
  • U.S.A.: Redmond, Buffalo, Beaverton, Portland.
  • UK: Swindon and Brighton.

Aerial and bird’s eye coverage:

  • Italy, 73 new cities
  • France: Bordeaux, Montpellier, Toulouse, Cannes, Nice, Monte Carlo
  • Canada: Toronto, Quebec City
  • Mexico: Puerto Vallarta
  • U.S.: a number of counties now have bird’s eye view and the following has new or enhanced aerial view: States of Indiana and Hawaii, Malibu, Joiliet, Miramar, San Francisco, Aurora, La Jolla, Naperville, Niagara Falls, Beaverton, La Mesa, Brooklyn, Portland, Indianapolis, Newark, Roseville, Columbus, Dallas Ft. Worth, Imperial, Juneau, Fairbanks.

Here’s a screenshot of Brighton Pier (U.K.) in 3D:

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