MSN previews satellite-mapping

Source Title:
Story Text:

Another story out of the Wall Street Journal D confernce has Bill Gates demoing new satellite-maping technology today.

Dubbed MSN Virtual Earth the service will allow users to zoom in on local areas and get info on all types of local services which is designed to compete with Yahoo!, Google and Amazon and will provide 'a core set of reference points' such as maps, aerial imagery and photos to compliment the local services.

MSN Virtual Earth includes satellite maps with 45-degree views of buildings and neighborhoods, and an overlay of street images. It also includes an online clipboard, or scratch pad, so users can take notes while performing multiple searches.

The service will also include a Wiki-like feature that lets visitors and business owners add information about local services to the database.

There is no info on whether this will be Virtual Earth or Virtual North America.

With Virtual Earth, it is trying to differentiate on grounds of accessibility. Stephen Lawler, general manager of the Virtual Earth project, said users could reach it through any browser because it would be an Internet site, as opposed to Google Earth, which is a download.