Microsoft’s Bing Maps and Google Maps continue their competition to offer the best online mapping. This week, Microsoft launched Bing Maps Beta which not only retooled its mapping application with their Silverlight technology but also launched the release of Streetside. Also announced was the extended partnership of Microsoft with Navteq to supply 3D mapping data. The Google Geo Developers Blog has a post about the new aerial imagery available with API v2:
Today with the launch of new aerial imagery in the Maps v2 API, the directionally challenged now have a little more help. The imagery is available with or without road overlays on top, and in each of the major compass directions (North, South, East and West), so you can now view the map upside down instead of doing handstands.
The oblique imagery gives Pictometry (the oblique imagery used by Microsoft) a run for their money. The imagery is currently only available in San Jose and San Diego but expect Google to roll out more cities fairly quickly. Google’s Lat Long Blog also has a write up with examples of how the new imagery is being used.
The sure winner out of all of this competition is the user. More data, more imagery, better functionality, and better access to geographic information will lead improved mapping for the user.