MSN launched virtual earth this week. It’s an obvious attempt to keep up with Google in the map category. I was hoping for a great product and my expectations where high after a preview on Channel 9. Mostly for selfish reasons because our website runs on a Microsoft platform. Although it has some nice features such as a way of locating yourself on the map and a closer zoom then Google maps currently offers, I was disappointed. The product is very buggy (sure it’s beta, but what does that mean these days?) and the dated maps are a clear indication that shipping to keep up with Google was more important then delivering a quality product. Good luck trying to shake a reputation of showing outdated maps. It’s unfortunate because it has potential and now there is a risk disappointed users will make up their mind today and stick with Google.
Google released an API for their Google maps. So I played around with it and created this map locating all the travel information about Vancouver on our HelloBC website. All the familiar Google maps functionality works and click any icon for a link to the information on the website.