As with any self-respecting blogger, I hate to say anything positive about Microsoft because they are synonymous with evil (just kidding!), but I must admit that the latest update to Virtual Earth — or whatever we’re supposed to be calling it nowadays, which is probably Windows Live Web Search Satellite Virtual 3-D Planet — is pretty damn cool.

I read about it over at Search Engine Watch and had to download it and check it out, based on the pics that Danny Sullivan put up, with full 3-D rendering — in better than Half-Life 2 detail — of downtown San Francisco and a bunch of other major cities. Microsoft even tipped its Stetson towards the Great White North by putting up a few buildings in Calgary and Vancouver, although apart from three or four major office towers, everything else is 2-D.

virtual earth

Best of all, cyberspace wouldn’t be cyberspace without advertising, right? So there are virtual billboards hovering here and there over office buildings and stadiums and whatnot, large enough that if they were in real life they would block out the sun. Is anyone going to want to advertise inside Virtual Earth? I would bet they are falling over themselves to do so. What if you’re checking out the city you’re moving to? There’s an ad for a real estate broker.

All we need now are those floating billboards with video commercials on them from Blade Runner (video is coming soon, Microsoft says). Oh, and maybe an add-on pack that would let you race cars (but not like this stupid thing Microsoft tried to pull) or hunt virtual bad guys down the streets of your favourite city. I can see it now: Grand Theft Auto — Vancouver.

About the author

Mathew 2414 posts

I'm a Toronto-based former senior writer with Gigaom and my favorite things to write about are social technology, media and the evolution of online behavior

11 Responses to “Get your virtual billboards here!”
  1. Microsoft says). Oh, and maybe an add-on pack that would let you race cars (but not like this stupid thing Microsoft tried to pull) or hunt virtual bad guys down the streets of your favourite city. I can see it now: Grand Theft Auto – Vancouver. Comments Tag: Microsoft, Virtual Earth, Advertising Add to [IMG] Del.icio.us | [IMG] Digg | [IMG] Yahoo! My Web | [IMG] Furl Bookmark WebProNews: [IMG] [IMG]

  2. Get your virtual billboards here! via Mathew Ingram: mathewingram.com/work November 7th, 2006 at 02:06

  3. Wait — are you saying that you’ve played Half-Life 2? :)

  4. I may have played it once or twice — for a couple of hundred hours or so :-)

  5. You dawg! And I bet you play counter-strike as well!

  6. Haven’t played that too much — too busy blogging :-)

  7. […] BURP! Microsoft’s virtual earth has rolled out of the door — and right by me. It looks cool from all the reviews I’ve seen, but like some stubborn DRM’d music player refuses to play nicely with other browsers (such as Firefox, both the boon and bane of my surfing experience). Mat Ingram seems to like it – but from what I also see, it only supports a few major American cities off the bat. Not a deal maker enough for me to migrate to MSIE 7.0 to view pretty pictures. […]

  8. […] Get your virtual billboards here! Mathew Ingram gives some commentary on the recent update to Virtual Earth – or Windows Live Search, whatever they are calling it now. (tags: Blog-Topic Virtual-Earch Search Microsoft) […]

  9. […] Source: Get your virtual billboards here! » Mathew Ingram […]

  10. bici corsa de rosa…

    Blog about bici corsa de rosa…

  11. midi kataoke musica latino americana…

    Blog about midi kataoke musica latino americana…

Comments are closed.