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Gavin Greig [userpic]

I can see my house from here!

May 25th, 2006 (11:56 am)
current location: DD4 9FF

I seem to have brought productivity temporarily to a halt at work by telling people that Microsoft's online mapping solution, Windows Live Local, now has data for the UK, so I thought I'd spread the joy.

It is better than Google Maps in a number of areas. It looks like there's more ambitious functionality (though I've only tried it in IE, so I don't know what the story is like for Firefox or Opera) and what has us all excited here is that the satellite coverage is much better than Google has for really important areas of the country - like Fife.

And yes, this time I really can see my house from here. You may have to zoom out a little, as it seems to open at full zoom and we're not quite covered at that level. If you don't have a scroll wheel on your mouse, hold down Alt and double-click to zoom out. Alt-drag will select an area to zoom in on.

I still can't get any closer to my parents' house in Argyll than I can with Google, and Google still lets me get zoomed in closer on work (in Dundee) but perhaps those areas will be sorted out in time.

Comments

Posted by: Alice Dryden (huskyteer)
Posted at: May 25th, 2006 12:31 pm (UTC)
Alice Street

Ooh! I can see where my scooter's parked!

Posted by: msinvisfem (msinvisfem)
Posted at: May 25th, 2006 12:32 pm (UTC)
Judger of all. (Head)

It appears to act the same in Firefox as in IE, that is I only get a map and no satellite. And I don't know what you mean by more functionality, it seems to lack the satellite, map or hybrid option.

My opinion? I give this a "Thumbs down".

Posted by: msinvisfem (msinvisfem)
Posted at: May 25th, 2006 12:35 pm (UTC)
In my bedroom - CA

Never mind. I tried some more and I eventually figured out where they put the "Smart Users, please press here" button. Pah.

Posted by: Gavin Greig (ggreig)
Posted at: May 25th, 2006 12:46 pm (UTC)
Blockhead

The pushpins, and particularly the scratch pad of pushpins once you have created one or more, are nicer than similar functionality in Google maps.

Posted by: It's my brain and I'll do what I like in it (pink_weasel)
Posted at: May 25th, 2006 12:41 pm (UTC)

Is it really live? Our roof looks like it's got plants on it which it really hasn't! Unless someone's put them there sice this morning.

Posted by: It's my brain and I'll do what I like in it (pink_weasel)
Posted at: May 25th, 2006 12:47 pm (UTC)

Ok, it's officially not live, the three houses which have been built in the bottom of the garden a few doors down from my parents house are not there. They've been there for months too.

Posted by: Gavin Greig (ggreig)
Posted at: May 25th, 2006 12:49 pm (UTC)
Blockhead

Sadly, it's not really live, which I think should qualify as false advertising :-)

In fact, the satellite photos seem to be older than the ones used in Google as Google shows one of the two new office buildings that have been built next door to my workplace in the last five years, but Windows Live Local just shows the ground being cleared for the first one.

Posted by: It's my brain and I'll do what I like in it (pink_weasel)
Posted at: May 25th, 2006 12:53 pm (UTC)

We could tell them it's not live I suppose but I doubt they'd care. If it was live it would be soooo much better. But everything would probably be obscured by planes and fish and things swimming over the cameras. London is much more closely mapped than mid Wales. Which is a shame as we can't use it to spy on the filming of Dr Who.

Posted by: Nik Whitehead (sharikkamur)
Posted at: May 25th, 2006 01:04 pm (UTC)

Pah! Crappy resolution of Iceland, of course. You have to zoom out to 1km before you even get a satellite image. Still, you can just about see my apartment block here. The labels aren't correct either, as they show the main road going down the middle of the fjord...

Posted by: myceliumme (myceliumme)
Posted at: May 27th, 2006 10:31 am (UTC)

It's, ahem, a little incorrect out here too. I hope the photographs will be updated before it gets out of beta.

Posted by: Toby Atkin-Wright (tobyaw)
Posted at: May 25th, 2006 01:17 pm (UTC)

It didn't work at all in Safari (just gave a blank white browser window). But then http://www.live.com/ didn't do much better, just displaying a logo and a non-functional search box.

Anyway, Firefox fared a little better. It seems quite sluggish to use compared to Google Maps - both for loading data and dragging around the map.

Took me a while to figure out how to turn on the satellite map. Maybe its just to be different from Google that they chose the terms Road/Aerial instead of Map/Satellite?

It displays things like Woodburn Park quite nicely, though. And its good to see a satellilte view of St Andrews.

Posted by: Gavin Greig (ggreig)
Posted at: May 25th, 2006 01:27 pm (UTC)
Blockhead

I didn't notice any significant difference in speed between Google and Live overall, though once or twice Live seemed to go to sleep for a while, then rapidly caught up on my click-ahead.

Maybe its just to be different from Google that they chose the terms Road/Aerial instead of Map/Satellite?

I wouldn't be surprised.

Posted by: silverwhistle (silverwhistle)
Posted at: May 25th, 2006 04:31 pm (UTC)
Boromir

Google gives a decent view of my house.
I suspect this programme isn't Mac-compatible.

Posted by: Gavin Greig (ggreig)
Posted at: May 25th, 2006 07:39 pm (UTC)
Blockhead

Google gives a decent view of my house

That's because you live in a conurbation.

I suspect this programme isn't Mac-compatible.

See tobyaw's comment above for his experience of trying it on a Mac.

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