View Full Version : November 2008 Microsoft Virtual Earth Newsletter

12-09-2008, 01:32 PM
What’s Happening With Virtual Earth

Each month, we bring you global news highlights about Microsoft Virtual Earth, including regional events, new product releases and product enhancements, recent customer deployments, customer evidence such as case studies and testimonial videos, and important partner news.

In the News

Online Marketplace Scout24 Group Relies on Virtual Earth
On Nov. 1, Scout24 Group of the German Telecom Group, which recently expanded in Germany and Europe to become one of the leading online marketplaces, renewed its contract with Microsoft Virtual Earth. More than 6 million people per month use the services to find and purchase cars, real estate, employment, dating, finance, travel and consumer electronics. With the help of Microsoft Virtual Earth, these platforms can offer higher, state-of-the-art usability to their customers including the opportunity to see the exact location of the searched objects on the map and an appropriate route. More information is available at http://www.scout24.com.

RAC Takes Online Navigation to the Next Level With Multimap Technology
On Nov. 5, RAC launched a new online route-planning service using the latest mapping technology from Multimap and Microsoft Virtual Earth. The route planner map can be overlaid with local information from Multimap — such as the location of restaurants, parking areas, railway stations and Wi-Fi hot spots. It also integrates the Virtual Earth aerial and bird’s-eye imagery to help customers explore and find their destination with ease. More information can be found and the RAC route planner viewed at RAC Route planner (http://www.rac.co.uk/web/routeplanner).

Weather Central Launches ReportStorms.com
In early November, Weather Central Inc. launched REPORTStorms.com, a beta community social networking site that enables people to report storms in their own areas. The site is built with the Microsoft Virtual Earth and Microsoft Silverlight interface. Additional features include weather search filtering, alerts and history. Community members also can build their own profiles, upload avatars and hold weather discussions in forums. More information is available at Virtual Earth, An Evangelist's Blog : Community Weather Reporting with Virtual Earth (http://blogs.msdn.com/virtualearth/archive/2008/11/11/community-weather-reporting-with-virtual-earth.aspx).

NMobile With Virtual Earth Releases for the iPhone
In mid-November, Njection Mobile (NMobile) launched for the iPhone. The application enables people to find and report speed ticketing traps. Using Microsoft Virtual Earth and GPS capabilities, people can map where law enforcement officers tend to park and pull over speeding drivers. Later, other drivers with the application can enable audio alerts notifying them about specific traps based on their location and rate the traps. More information is available at Virtual Earth, An Evangelist's Blog : Mobile Speed Trap Mapping with iPhone (http://blogs.msdn.com/virtualearth/archive/2008/11/12/mobile-speed-trap-mapping-with-iphone.aspx).

U.S. EPA Integrates Virtual Earth in Its Cleanups in My Community Web Site
In early November, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency integrated the Microsoft Virtual Earth platform on the Cleanups in My Community site. It enables citizens to view a map highlighting contaminated and hazardous facilities and locations that the EPA is in progress of cleaning. Viewers also can click on a link for each location on the map to see more information on the facility provided by the EPA. More information is available at Microsoft Virtual Earth used by EPA for "Cleanups in My Community" web site - Windows Live (http://virtualearth4gov.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!369B39F890CE30C1!2862.entry).

Cornish Councils in the U.K. Gain Fingertip Control of Fleets With Masternaut and Virtual Earth
On Nov. 11, Caradon and North Cornwall District Councils selected Masternaut Three X’s innovative satellite tracking system to manage their fleets. The service, which uses the Microsoft Virtual Earth mapping technology, allows the councils to monitor and manage their fleets over the Web, tracking refuse collection vehicles, street sweepers and housing maintenance vehicles — all with pinpoint accuracy. The system alerts managers and drivers of speeding and also provides lone-worker security that enables managers to see exactly where each vehicle is on the Virtual Earth map, helping them to keep track of individual staff members. More information is available at Cornish Councils gain fingertip control of fleets with Masternaut | News - Masternaut Three X (http://www.masternaut.co.uk/press-release.aspx?id=174).

Kansas DOT Selects Virtual Earth to Showcase Road Conditions to Citizens
In mid-November, the Kansas Department of Transportation switched from its own base map to the Microsoft Virtual Earth mapping platform on its 511 Web site. Citizens looking for road conditions and road work can now visualize them on Virtual Earth. The map is supplemented with a full description of the condition. More information is available at Virtual Earth at work for Kansas DOT (KDOT) - Windows Live (http://virtualearth4gov.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!369B39F890CE30C1!2879.entry).

Pitney Bowes’ Fire Locator Application Uses Virtual Earth
In mid-November, Pitney Bowes Inc.’s Advanced Concepts and Technologies Group built Fire Locator, an application that provides timely information about fires in the U.S. In addition to visually mapping out fires or potential fire locations, the application features data feeds from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, which shows hot spots for wildfires, Incident Information System, Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination (GeoMAC), California wildfire risk zones, aerial thermal imaging, fire boundaries, Flickr photos and local news feeds. More information is available at Virtual Earth, An Evangelist's Blog : Tracking Wild Fires with Pitney Bowes and Virtual Earth (http://blogs.msdn.com/virtualearth/archive/2008/11/19/tracking-wild-fires-with-pitney-bowes-and-virtual-earth.aspx).

Diabetes Australia Raises Awareness With the Help of Virtual Earth
On Nov. 17, Diabetes Australia launched its first diabetes map developed by Hands-on Systems on the Virtual Earth platform. It is the only national map to monitor the spread of diabetes in Australia. The map displays data on the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in all parts of Australia, incorporating information on age, gender and type of diabetes. Combining Virtual Earth and the National Diabetes Services Scheme registrant database, this new service can help raise awareness of the condition and offer access to information in a visual and consumer-friendly way. More information is available at Geospatial Map (http://www.ndss.com.au/Australian-Diabetes-Map/Map/).

Windermere Unveils Renovated Web Site With Enhanced Virtual Earth Integration
On Nov. 18, Windermere Real Estate Services Co. announced the unveiling of its revamped company Web site. The site simplifies searching for a home with one search box. Its integration with Microsoft Virtual Earth has expanded to display the search results and feature a photo viewer that showcases larger photos of homes on the map’s interface. More information is available at Windermere Press Releases (http://windermere.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=about.pressReleaseDetail&prID=268).

MSNBC Highlights “Cries of Help” From Mayors to Obama Using Virtual Earth
In mid-November, MSNBC published a map highlighting the help that mayors deem necessary from President-elect Barack Obama, such as requests and suggestions for handling the continuous economic downturn. The information was gathered through an online survey to mayors across the nation. Concerns are categorized by topic, including economy and healthcare, and pinpoint the location of mayors who responded. When clicking the icon on a specific location, an information box pops up with the city, population, mayor’s name, and his or her concerns or requests. More information is available at Virtual Earth, An Evangelist's Blog : Mr. Obama, Please Save Us All?. (http://blogs.msdn.com/virtualearth/archive/2008/11/19/mr-obama-please-save-us-all.aspx).

Bravofly Enhances Its Search Capabilities With Multimap and Virtual Earth Technology
On Nov. 21, Bravofly S.A. launched its new online mapping service to help customers locate and compare more than 100,000 hotels around the world by integrating the Multimap application programming interface (API) and Virtual Earth aerial and bird’s-eye imagery. Using Bravofly’s advanced search option, customers can organize vacations, weekend breaks and business travel, filtering by accommodation price, distance to city center and tourist attractions. Using the Multimap and Virtual Earth technology, Bravofly allows customers to visualize hotel locations and their surrounding areas, helping to inform customers on their destination choices. More information is available at BravoFly Hotel: Book hotels for your trips with our hotel search engine (http://hotel.bravofly.com).

Chris Pendleton Presents the Opening Keynote at Navigation & Location USA 2008
On Dec. 2, Virtual Earth technical evangelist Chris Pendleton presented the keynote address, “Unlock New Revenues Through the Web,” at Navigation & Location USA 2008. He discussed how to convert mapping cost to profit center and combine Microsoft Corp. properties, including Microsoft Virtual Earth, to enhance and optimize the mapping experience. More information is available at Navigation and Location USA 2008; the show that is at the centre of Mobile, PND & In-car LBS! (http://www.telematicsupdate.com/navusa2008/agenda.shtml).

Recent Updates — Microsoft Virtual Earth and Live Search Maps

Latest Virtual Earth Imagery Release
In early November, the Microsoft Virtual Earth team announced 41.07 TB of new imagery, including ortho imagery for cities in Spain and Japan. The release also includes new bird’s-eye imagery for multiple cities in Australia, Austria, Canada, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, the U.K. and the U.S. More information and a complete list of new imagery can be found at Virtual Earth, An Evangelist's Blog : Virtual Earth Imagery Release ? October, 2008 (http://blogs.msdn.com/virtualearth/archive/2008/11/05/virtual-earth-imagery-release-october-2008.aspx).

Microsoft Photosynth Exploration Available in Live Search Maps
On Nov. 6, Live Search Maps integrated Microsoft Photosynth exploration as part of its Collection Explorer feature. People can find examples of Photosynth technology by searching for a location, clicking on the Explore Collections link, clicking on the Photosynth button and launching the viewer through clicking on search results or rolling over a pushpin. In addition, people who have created their own Photosynth can log in at Photosynth.com and upload the synths to the map. More information is available at Virtual Earth, An Evangelist's Blog : Photosynth Exploration in Live Search Maps (http://blogs.msdn.com/virtualearth/archive/2008/11/06/photosynth-exploration-in-live-search-maps.aspx).

Project Silk Road Launches With Virtual Earth API Expansion
On Nov. 13, Microsoft announced the launch of Project Silk Road at the PubCon Las Vegas 2008 conference. The release offers a broad range of tools and services to help publishers and developers generate traffic, increase engagement, drive insight, and boost productivity and agility at their sites. The new features include expansion of Live Search and Microsoft Virtual Earth APIs, syndicated contextual and search advertisements, a Microsoft Office Excel add-in within Microsoft adCenter for tracking keyword performance, an improved Webmaster Center, a Custom Web Error Toolkit, Instant Answers, and video syndication. More information is available at Live Search : The next step in search (http://blogs.msdn.com/livesearch/archive/2008/11/13/the-next-step-in-search.aspx).