Microsoft maps in 3D

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Microsoft released a virtual 3D mapping of New York (downtown shown here) on its Live Search Maps site on Tuesday. Mapping of other cities is planned as well. Microsoft Virtual Earth gives people photo-realistic 3D bird\’s-eye views of buildings and topography.

Last November, the company released Virtual Earth 3D in beta, along with the application programming interface and a software developer kit for people who wanted to create 3D renderings. While some terrain and buildings were also viewable at that time, the current release of New York in virtual 3D marks the first major effort by Microsoft to create an almost complete rendering of a recognizable city.

Unlike Google Earth\’s 3D world, Microsoft\’s virtual world can be seen via Microsoft\’s Internet Explorer and in Firefox, once an add-on has been downloaded. Google Earth\’s 3D-mapping features are not compatible with Web browsers but rather with the application download.

[Submitted by Reshadat]

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