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Google Maps Hybrid Fires Back At MSNs Virtual Earth

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Though MSN’s Virtual Earth has been called the “Google Maps Killer,” that moniker may be a little premature in light of Google’s answer to the challenge. As the beta for VE is launched, Google steps it up a bit with Google Maps Hybrid mode.

Google Maps Hybrid mode combines the features of Google Maps with Google Earth, allowing the user to zoom in on a target and simultaneously see an aerial view with road maps superimposed.

While some have remarked on the exceptional utility of MSN VE (one notable feature is the ability to use a mouse scroll to zoom in and out and pan across), an amateur searcher may have trouble finding anything outside of the United States, and definitely won’t see any landscape shots.

Additionally, someone not so skilled in the mouse-handling department may find the easy scrolling difficult to manage (I’m pretty good with a mouse and ended up overshooting a few times).

Ask VE to find Japan, and it takes you to Missouri. Ask Google Maps to do the same thing and you not only get remote locations, but you can zoom down far enough to see the rivers and mountains and even the crater atop Mt. Fuji (Fuji-san, to the locals).

This was good timing on Google’s part. The hybrid version should be impressive and utilitarian enough to knock the wind out of MSN’s sails.

Google Maps Hybrid Fires Back At MSNs Virtual Earth
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