This past week the Virtual Earth team presented and exhibited at the Rocket City Geospatial Conference in Huntsville, Alabama. The conference was sponsored and organized by the Directions Media folks. In addition to the Virtual Earth exhibit where we answered some very targeted questions from folks coming mainly from Alabama State and Local government, Steve Milroy hosted a workshop on Monday where he gave an overview of Virtual Earth and a technical deep dive. Unfortunately, this workshop occurred a day before the latest Virtual Earth release and Steve was unable to discuss some new features and functionality. With this in mind, I would just like to quickly address a couple of points from an entry about the workshop on the All Points Blog from Directions Media which I encourage you to check out.

  1. For now there is no way to bring your own 3D models into Virtual Earth, but it's coming!

    It's here. With this latest Virtual Earth release, and thanks to the Microsoft/ Dassault Systemes partnership, consumers can create realistic 3-D models -- such as of buildings and structures -- and share them through Microsoft Virtual Earth and online communities. See the press release. This requires installation of the 3DVIA Technology preview which you can install by either clicking on the 3D building icon at the bottom of your Collections window (pictured below) or by right-clicking on the Virtual Earth 3D and choose 'Add a 3D Model.'

  2. Virtual Earth already supports KML and GeoRSS - stay tuned on KML. "Work is being done..."

    Virtual Earth now allows you to import most flavors of KML files, as well as GeoRSS and GPX files as Virtual Earth collections. To do this, you must have, and be signed into, a Live Windows Live Hotmail account (free). Then you use the Import feature from the Collections window which opens the import window

Once your data is imported, you can edit and share it like any Virtual Earth Collection. Here is an example of a KMZ file imported into Virtual Earth.

Special thanks to Steve Milroy for doing such a bang up job at the workshop our booth visitors raved about.

If you were not at the Geospatial Rocket City conference this week and plan to be in San Antonio next week for the GEOINT 2007 conference, look for my next blog entry and be sure to stop by the Microsoft booth #167 and check out everything going on.

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