I'm so glad to finally announce that the latest version of Live Maps is online and ready for you to play with. This ended up being a much bigger release than originally planned including three full sprints of development. As always the changes visible in the user interface only scratch the surface of the dozens of improvements across the application tiers including Geocoding enhancements, browser compatibility (Safari and IE8), parsing improvements, reverse geocoding, printing improvements and tons more. We are also releasing an upgrade of our Map Control to version 6.1 for developers. Give it a try and let us know what you think by dropping a comment here or emailing me at Stevelom at microsoft d com.
Export your Collection to Your Navigation/GPS device. One of the most common complaints we hear from users is that there is no easy way to get waypoints onto their Nav system from a web map. In this release we added support to export Collections to KML, GPX and GeoRSS which you can load directly to just about any portable Navigation system. No funky network links to get in your way - when you do an export the resulting file contains the geometry your nav system needs without having to be connected to the net. You can now plan your trip on the web by creating a Collection of Waypoints, then use the Export feature to take them with you on the road.
This Export capability isn't limited to use on Nav systems of course. the exported files are standard KML, GPX or GeoRSS and can be used in any application compatible with one of these file formats. You can import a KML file and convert it to GeoRSS for instance. Or Export a Collection to view it in Google Earth. Or convert a GeoRSS feed to GPX...
Improved 3D cities. Our new 'Version 2' cities are much more densely modeled, feature higher resolution textures, and include rendered trees. Cities now have thousands more buildings than before especially noticeable as you move from a city core out to its suburbs. It all adds up to make Virtual Earth much less virtual and takes us a large step closer to delivering a truly impressive mirror world experience. Initially Las Vegas, Dallas, Denver and Phoenix have received the v2 face lift, but all future cities will get these enhancements with hundreds being online before the end of the year.
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