View Full Version : March 2008 Microsoft Virtual Earth Newsletter

04-02-2008, 07:40 AM
In the News

Marriott GoBoard Utilizes Virtual Earth off the Web
Marriott International Inc. recently unveiled a number of new and innovative lobby features for its hotels, including the GoBoard, a state-of-the-art touch screen that allows guests to view local information using Virtual Earth maps. Guests are able to see directions to local points of interest, including sporting events, restaurants and tourist attractions. This creative use of the Virtual Earth mapping platform enables Marriott International to provide its guests with all the information they are looking for, right at their fingertips. The GoBoard is currently available at the Courtyard Fairfax Fair Oaks in Virginia. For more information, please visit GO COURTYARD Blog Archive GoBoard (http://www.gocourtyard.com/?p=3) or Virtual Earth,<br>An Evangelist's Blog : Marriott "Go Board" (http://blogs.msdn.com/virtualearth/archive/2008/03/25/marriott-go-board.aspx).

CDR Group Develops Microsoft Virtual Earth Application for Recolight
On March 19, CDR Group, a software company specializing in GIS products and services, announced it developed a Virtual Earth Web application for Recolight, a U.K. lamp recycling company. As part of the U.K. Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive, which aims to reduce the amount of electrical and electronic equipment ending up in landfills, the regulations require the collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of this equipment. The use of Virtual Earth allows lamp distributors and consumers to find the nearest recycling facility for lamps. Additional features were added to the Virtual Earth application to give driving routes and directions to the nearest Open Commercial Collection Point. For more information, please visit CDR Group - News (http://www.cdrgroup.co.uk/gen_news.htm).

SCI FI Channel and Virtual Earth Team Up to Find the Yeti
Sightings of the yeti, more commonly known to us as the Abominable Snowman, were first reported more than 1,000 years ago and continue to be reported today. On March 5, the SCI FI Channel adventure series “Destination Truth” trekked deep into the mountains of Nepal seeking the truth about the fabled creature. Armed with maps and imagery provided by Virtual Earth, the show’s host, Josh Gates, led his small crew on a grand adventure to track the yeti. To view the episode, please visit SCI FI Rewind | SCIFI.COM (http://www.scifi.com/rewind) and click on Yeti in the Destination Truth box.

Texas Department of Transportation TransVista Powered by Virtual Earth
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) recently launched TransVista for El Paso, Texas. TransVista is an intelligent transportation system (ITS) Web site, powered by Virtual Earth. ITS is a national program aimed at using technology and communications to improve safe transportation. On the site, Virtual Earth mapping technology enables travelers to visualize real-time traffic flow data and incident and traffic hazard data provided by the El Paso Police Department, average vehicle speeds, and more. In addition, images from TxDOT cameras are integrated along routes and provide refreshed snapshots every 30 to 40 seconds. For more information, please visit Virtual Earth For Government: Lone Star Traffic on Microsoft Virtual Earth (http://virtualearth4gov.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!369B39F890CE30C1!735.entry).

Houston TranStar Traffic Map Powered by Virtual Earth
Following the launch of TransVista for El Paso, the Houston TranStar consortium, a partnership of four government agencies, launched the Houston TranStar Traffic Map. The Houston TranStar Traffic Mapping System is powered by Virtual Earth and allows users to check on traffic flow, incidents and lane closures; view detailed Virtual Earth maps of the Houston region; see traffic camera views; and inspect road sign messages. The data is layered on the Virtual Earth platform, allowing easy access to this information integrated with rich aerial imagery. For more information, please visit Virtual Earth For Government: Microsoft Virtual Earth for Travelers in Houston (http://virtualearth4gov.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!369B39F890CE30C1!784.entry) or Houston TranStar Real-Time Traffic Map (http://traffic.houstontranstar.org).

Vexcel Announces the Virtual Earth Appliance
On March 4, Vexcel Corp., a Microsoft subsidiary, announced the availability of the Virtual Earth Appliance, designed to bring the rich data and functionality of the Virtual Earth Internet service to offline customers. The platform’s powerful browser-based capabilities are now available behind a customer’s firewall, on private or classified networks, and on portable platforms. The Virtual Earth Appliance is available as an enterprise version or as a laptop version, and both systems can be configured to support data from a single city, state or region, or to include the entire Virtual Earth global coverage. Because the Virtual Earth Appliance has the same API and tiling structure as Virtual Earth, customers can integrate their own data, build custom applications or take advantage of the capabilities of Microsoft’s network of partner companies. For more information, please visit Virtual Earth,<br>An Evangelist's Blog : Virtual Earth Appliance (http://blogs.msdn.com/virtualearth/archive/2008/03/05/virtual-earth-appliance.aspx) or GISuser.com GIS, GPS, LBS, CAD, mapping news, jobs, software, data, community (http://www.gisuser.com/content/view/14070/).

Masternaut Three X Signs Three-Year Deal to Use Virtual Earth
On March 11, Masternaut Three X, the U.K.’s leading provider of Web-based vehicle tracking and mobile work force solutions, announced the signing of a three-year contract with Microsoft EMEA. The contract covers the use of Virtual Earth within Masternaut Three X’s Internet-based telematics service and is an extension to an ongoing relationship between the two organizations. The use of Virtual Earth allows Masternaut Three X’s customers to trace their vehicles and workers on the move with extreme detail and accuracy. The platform also offers advanced location-based services that include optimized driving directions, proximity queries and customizable map windows. Masternaut overlays the platform with real-time traffic data, congestion and low-emissions zone alerts, access to low bridge and narrow roads information, as well as many more features that provide business benefits. For more information, please visit Press Release - Masternaut Three X (http://www.masternaut.co.uk/Visitor/press-release.aspx?id=127).

University of New Hampshire Alert
The University of New Hampshire recently launched UNH Alert, an excellent example of Virtual Earth mapping technology integrating with campus security initiatives. UNH Alert is a free service offered by the University of New Hampshire that allows the university to contact subscribers during an emergency by sending text messages via e-mail, cell phone, smart phone or pager. If an emergency occurs, such as a terrorist attack or severe weather incident, subscribers can view mashups of the data on Virtual Earth maps, along with real-time updates, instructions on where to go and whom to contact, and other important information. For more information, please visit Virtual Earth For Government: Virtual Earth at Microsoft CIO Summit (http://virtualearth4gov.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!369B39F890CE30C1!726.entry).

Case Study: City of Miami Connects Citizens to Services with Virtual Earth
In an effort to meet the needs of today’s consumer market, the city of Miami recently launched its new GIS Web Portal, featuring several applications built on top of Virtual Earth. The improved site now allows city personnel and constituents to visualize and gain better understanding of community information in the areas of zoning and property, public safety and response, and urban planning and development. The Virtual Earth maps offer an enhanced, visual representation of city data and services through the following applications: City of Miami Zoning 3D, City of Miami Zoning Application, City of Miami Code Enforcement Application, and Miami Large Scale Report. For more information, please visit the case study at Microsoft Case Studies: City of Miami (http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=4000001663) or visit Virtual Earth For Government: Miami Gov on Microsoft Virtual Earth (http://virtualearth4gov.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!369B39F890CE30C1!790.entry).

BBC Maps Student News on Virtual Earth
The British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC), the world’s largest broadcasting corporation, recently expanded its use of Virtual Earth. The BBC launched School Report, a project that gives U.K. students ages 11 to 14 the opportunity to make their own video, audio or text-based news and publish it on their school’s Web site, to which the BBC aims to link. On March 13, anyone could watch, listen and read thousands of news reports online made by students, geographically mapped onto the Virtual Earth platform for easy navigation and exploration. Using Virtual Earth, viewers could zoom in to areas to find information about the local schools and recent news. For more information, please visit Virtual Earth,<br>An Evangelist's Blog : BBC News: School Report News (http://blogs.msdn.com/virtualearth/archive/2008/03/15/bbc-news-school-report-news.aspx).

Case Study: Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions
Tasked with establishing an online consumer presence, Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions turned to Microsoft technologies and Virtual Earth to create Cyberhomes. The Web site features maps and imagery from Virtual Earth, including bird’s-eye views* of properties from the north, south, east and west. When users type an address or click on a search result, a Web service pulls the requested image from Virtual Earth; users can then manipulate the image using customized versions of the Virtual Earth pan, zoom and map selector controls. Tile layers display property lines, and heat maps indicate the rate of change for property values. Customized versions of Virtual Earth pushpins signify various types of properties. Through its use of the Virtual Earth platform, Fidelity National is delivering a distinctive approach to serving the real estate market. For more information, please visit Microsoft Case Studies: Fidelity National Real Estate Solutions (http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=4000001334).

Virtual Earth Enhances Tchibo Travel Portal
Tchibo GmbH, a leading German retailer specializing in coffee shops, travel, mobile services and financial services, recently signed a deal with Microsoft to begin utilizing Virtual Earth to power its Travel Portal. The Travel Portal offers tourists a variety of planning options, including the ability directly book travel. The integration of Virtual Earth into the service will enable more complete travel planning for customers, the ability to see points of interest such as restaurants and tourist attractions, and the possibility to virtually explore different regions. The application is set to launch next month. To visit the Travel Portal, please visit Jede Woche eine neue Reisewelt (http://reisen.tchibo.de/index.php/travelhome/show/).

Virtual Earth Sponsors Location Intelligence Conference 2008
April 28 to 30 in Santa Clara, Calif., Directions Media will host the Location Intelligence Conference 2008. The conference, sponsored by Virtual Earth, is a welcoming place to hear about geospatial technologies in action, solving real-world problems and improving operations that energize the location-intelligent enterprise. Location Intelligence 2008 will introduce tools and resources to support enterprise deployment of location-enabled solutions. Vincent Tao, director of Microsoft Virtual Earth, will speak on a panel titled “Social Networking, Local Search and Location-Based Advertising.” People who are passionate about the practical challenges of implementing and integrating cutting-edge technologies along with mainstream information technology are encouraged to participate. Those who register today can receive a special discount of $190 off the full registration fee of $995 by using the code fe1dd4a4. For more information, or for registration instructions, please visit Conference Registration - Location Intelligence Conference (http://www.locationintelligence.net/registration/).

Recent Updates - Microsoft Virtual Earth

New and Updated Imagery in Virtual Earth
In March, the Virtual Earth team announced the addition of 42.85 terabytes of new and updated imagery in Virtual Earth. The update includes more than 30 areas of global orthographic imagery, including Las Vegas; Vienna, Austria; and Mangalore, India. In addition, more than 100 new U.S. areas of Pictometry bird’s-eye oblique scenes and European Union areas of bird’s-eye Blom scenes were added, including those for London and Limerick, Ireland. For more details on the updates, as well as a list of locations for which the updates are available, please visit Virtual Earth,<br>An Evangelist's Blog : New Imagery - March 2008 (http://blogs.msdn.com/virtualearth/archive/2008/03/25/new-imagery-march-2008.aspx).