Here is another great example of Virtual Earth being leveraged by state and local government to better serve constituents.
California Governor Schwarzenegger today announced the launch of a "State of the State" web site dedicated to issues presented in his State of the State address. Along with this, the Governor also unveiled the California School Finder web site that allows citizens to compare schools side-by-side.
Since I grew up in San Jose, I decided to test the app to look up the high school I attended. As the screenshot below illustrates, users can search for schools by school type so I selected high schools. You can designate the search radius of the address, city or zip code that you specify. Managing to recall my old zip code, I entered that, specified a 1 mile radius, and hit the Go button.
The below screenshot shows my search results. The pushpin legend on the left shows that the black pushpins on the map represent high schools. The schools returned within the radius of my search are also listed below the map.* Mousing over a school pushpin provides top level information about the school and you can click on "View Details" for specific information about that school. You can also get this information by clicking on the school in the list below the map.
This last screenshot shows the detailed information and aerial imagery for my old high school that is then returned. From these details, families moving into an area have access to extensive information on schools for that area, and are able to visualize the schools surroundings, to make a fully informed decision on where they would like their students to attend. Then they can use one of the many Virtual Earth based real estate web sites to find a home nearby!
Congratulations to Governor Schwarzenegger and the State of California for taking a progressive stance in serving constituents by being early adopters in using leading technology.*