Virtual Earth is MSN’s answer to Google Maps and maybe even Google Earth.

So much to cover, but here are some features I noticed that were different than Google Maps.

  • Aerial Maps
  • More controls – Keyboard navigation, Mouse Scroll Wheel to zoom
  • Zoom in all modes – Can zoom in very close
  • Hybrid Map view – Aerial maps with objects labelled
  • Integrated Local search
  • Scratch Pad – Integrated blog function with MSN Spaces
  • Layered Search Overlay – different colors for different searches, awesome
  • Scratch Pad queries are constant – Local spots update when location changes

Check out the full video of the Virtual Earth demo. (via Channel 9)

For Virtual Earth’s aerial maps, they are using low elevation fly over images. Pictometry is providing the pictures. The images are amazing.

Update: Directions Magazine just released a great article covering Virtual Earth.

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