Addicted to novelty since 2001

MSN Virtual Earth Hates Canada

As you no doubt read this morning, Microsoft released its response to Google MapsMSN Virtual Earth. While I dig the aerial photos and topographical look-and-feel, it’s a Canada free zone. The screenshot shows the 49th parallel at Blaine, where our nation appears as a strip of white frozen north. Beyond that, according to the icons, photography isn’t permitted in Canada. So, not so much a ‘virtual Earth’ as a ‘virtual country’.

First to market usually wins, and I’m sticking with Google Maps until MSN demonstrates they’re compelling enough to make me switch. A good start would be actually including my country. This was my initial complaint about Google Maps as well, so hopefully they’ll sort it out in short order.

Meanwhile, as Derek points out, Google Maps has launched a hybrid view of their (currently much more complete) world, showing a satellite map overlaid with streets.

UPDATE: Boing Boing reports that Microsoft has nuked Apple’s headquarters.

5 Responses to “MSN Virtual Earth Hates Canada”

  1. Richard

    One thing Google Maps doesn’t do is take input from the middle scroll mouse button to zoom in and out. It works in IE6 and Firefox/Mac, too.

  2. Jeremy C. Wright

    It finds St. Stephen, satellite maps all of New Brunswick…

    What’s the problem? ;-)

    And, yeah, what I love is how easy to use this puppy is. Also, Darren, try the “Locate Me” bit (using ActiveX) on a Windows computer sometime.

    It’ll find you to within 50 feet. Almost as good as GPS.

  3. Darren

    Really dodgy satellite maps.

    That “Locate Me” feature sounds kind of terrifying. Does somebody from MSN drop by with a big syringe so that they can release micro-tracking devices into my blood stream?

  4. Derek

    Indeed, much of the imagery is laughably out of date compared to Google’s. But in some places you can zoom in a lot, lot farther with Virtual Earth: close enough to see people and vehicles pretty clearly. And–miracle of miracles–it works in Safari on a Mac!

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