## Tuesday, November 07, 2006 ... //

### Microsoft Virtual Earth 3D

Google Inc. has created many interesting programs and Google Earth (earth.google.com) is one of them. Imagine that Microsoft Inc. has an answer. What do you think will be the name of such an answer?

Figure 1: San Francisco skyline in Virtual Earth 3D beta. Click the image for more screenshots or look at a finer screenshot. Or try some Boston or L.A. or North America. Or compare Google and Microsoft products' realization of Las Vegas: do you really think that Virtual Earth is not a threat to Google Earth?

You may guess Microsoft Earth. But it would be wrong. First of all, such a name wouldn't be terribly original. Second of all, it is not honest because the Earth on your screen is similar to the real one but it is not quite identical. A more honest name is

• Virtual Earth 3D

Go to maps.live.com and in the left sidebar, you will find buttons to install this set of utilities that will allow you to view a caricature of the real world whose number of dimensions is closer to the actual one, namely ten, than the most common images were imagining. A fast computer with a good graphics card, Windows XP, and Internet Explorer 7 is recommended.

If you want to see e.g. the blackboards in the IAS to determine what they're thinking about, you need at least 512 GB of RAM. Good luck. ;-)

Microsoft also allows you to see any point in the streets of Seattle or San Francisco from the pedestrian's or race car perspective.