Updates to Google Maps and Virtual Earth

Slashgeo linked to a good post on a number of updates to Virtual Earth. Among the updates:

  • Export your nav points to your GPS device via KML, GPX, or GeoRSS.
  • They have a improved 3D city models for a few select cities (Denver, Las Vegas, Dallas, and Phoenix), with more being added over time. These models are really impressive, with better textures and even individually modeled trees. Take a look at Las Vegas in VE 3D - you’ll be highly impressed.
  • Labels for oblique (‘Birds Eye’) imagery, which is a handy update.
  • Improved KML display.
  • MapCruncher integration. MapCruncher is a tool that allows “anyone to import maps, layer them, and share them on a web site using the Microsoft Virtual Earth platform.” This cool tool basically lets you take your map images in PDF, JPG, GIF, PNG, WMF, EMF, TIF, TIFF, or BMP format and register them to the VE map much in the same way you would register a paper map on a digitizer with common coordinates. You can set transparency and whatever else you like, and it will create a folder with everything you need for you VE map, including your fully tiled map images and sample web pages. The fact that it includes vector based formats means your won’t get the gnarly pixelation of a stretched raster. If you’re interested in VE mashups I definitely recommend checking it out.
Google Maps has added Street Views to it’s Google Maps API, and GeoChalkboard has a good piece on it including some sample code. New classes include:

  • GStreetviewPanorama – Holds an instance of the Flash® Street View Panorama viewer.
  • GStreetviewPanoramaOptions – Represents options that can be passed to the GStreetviewPanorama constructor.
  • GStreetviewOverlay – Tileset highlighting locations where Street View data is available.
  • GStreetviewClient – Performs searches for Street View data based on parameters passed to its method.
  • GStreetviewData – Represents the data associated with a panorama.
  • GStreetviewLocation – Represents a street view location.
  • GStreetviewLink – Represents a link from one GStreetviewLocation to a neighboring GStreetviewLocation.
  • GPov – Repreesents the structure of a camera point of view used by street view.
Unfortunately Street View isn’t available around my fiefdom, so this isn’t of much use to me at the moment. But if you are in one of those areas, you can now add Street View to your Google Maps mashup.

If you see a vehicle bristling with cameras and antennas yet lacking a grim-faced TV news personality, please send them in my direction.