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Maps Blog — Apr 2008

  • April
    29

    Tracking Virtual Earth Tile Usage

    For those of you who are accessing the Virtual Earth tile system directly for integration into a Silverlight, WPF or Flash interface we now have a way for you to legitimize yourselves. First off, we recognize that without a Flash control for the Flex development environment or a Silverlight control we have a bit of a shortcoming for you creating some extremely innovative and scalable sites; however, we've worked to overcome contract and technical hurdles so you can use a Flash, WPF or Silverlight interface by accessing our tile servers directly - meaning, you're pulling the URLs for the tiles and stitching them together yourselves effectively creating your own Silverlight, WPF of Flash map controls. Short of pulling your IPs from the logs we haven't had a good way of showing you usage for your application (nor could we effectively track how many tiles were getting pulled into your application...until now! Now, to be clear, it's still not kosher for users without a valid contract to access our tiles directly so if you have a Silverlight, Flash, WPF or whatever app that your pulling tiles for directly (and you know who you are) you need to get a contract in place or your in violation... Read More For those of you who are accessing the Virtual Earth tile system directly for integration into a Silverlight, WPF or Flash interface we now have a way for you to legitimize yourselves. First off, we recognize that without a Flash control for the Flex development environment or a Silverlight control we have a bit of a shortcoming for you creating some extremely innovative and scalable sites; however, we've worked to overcome contract and technical hurdles so you can use a Flash, WPF or Silverlight interface by accessing our tile servers directly - meaning, you're pulling the URLs for the tiles and stitching them together yourselves effectively creating your own Silverlight, WPF of Flash map controls. Short of pulling your IPs from the logs we haven't had a good way of showing you usage for your application (nor could we effectively track how many tiles were getting pulled into your application...until now! Now, to be clear, it's still not kosher for users without a valid contract to access our tiles directly so if you have a Silverlight, Flash, WPF or whatever app that your pulling tiles for directly (and you know who you are) you need to get a contract in place or your in violation... Read More
  • April
    28

    New Virtual Earth 3D Techno Movie

    2 Unlimited need not show for this party. Check out the latest video showcase the V2 Virtual Earth 3D building models. V2 of our building models are available in Las Vegas , Dallas , Denver and Phoenix . There are still another 250+ cities with photo-textured, scaled building models published in V1 that will get updated in the upcoming months. Watch the video and crank up your speakers . Video: Microsoft Virtual Earth - Spring 2008 Release CP 2 Unlimited need not show for this party. Check out the latest video showcase the V2 Virtual Earth 3D building models. V2 of our building models are available in Las Vegas , Dallas , Denver and Phoenix . There are still another 250+ cities with photo-textured, scaled building models published in V1 that will get updated in the upcoming months. Watch the video and crank up your speakers . Video: Microsoft Virtual Earth - Spring 2008 Release CP
  • April
    28

    Where in the World is Matt Lauer?

    Today, NBC launched there "Where in the world is Matt Lauer" campaign and this morning I saw that he was in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Wow - the ultimate boondoggle. What a stud. Anyway, as a part of this campaign, Live Search Club (free online games) has released the game " Discover the World with Matt Lauer. " The game is pretty straight forward and uses Virtual Earth and Live Search to add to the fun. The game will prompt you with questions about different geographies. As you get stumped - I got to question 2 - you can leverage Live Search on the bottom half of the screen to research the answer. Once the correct answer is selected, the Virtual Earth map will center on the location in question. The whole game drives more search queries, and in fact, will drive queries just for selecting the right answer. This allows you to just search on terms you might normally want to search on, but could pique your interest in a specific geographic topic. Hey, this could be a good use in the classroom! Well, the game is pretty challenging and worth a looksee to see how high you can score. I posted a...well, idk, but I got 18 tickets. And did you see Matt dance with that Argentinean tango dancer ... Read More Today, NBC launched there "Where in the world is Matt Lauer" campaign and this morning I saw that he was in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Wow - the ultimate boondoggle. What a stud. Anyway, as a part of this campaign, Live Search Club (free online games) has released the game " Discover the World with Matt Lauer. " The game is pretty straight forward and uses Virtual Earth and Live Search to add to the fun. The game will prompt you with questions about different geographies. As you get stumped - I got to question 2 - you can leverage Live Search on the bottom half of the screen to research the answer. Once the correct answer is selected, the Virtual Earth map will center on the location in question. The whole game drives more search queries, and in fact, will drive queries just for selecting the right answer. This allows you to just search on terms you might normally want to search on, but could pique your interest in a specific geographic topic. Hey, this could be a good use in the classroom! Well, the game is pretty challenging and worth a looksee to see how high you can score. I posted a...well, idk, but I got 18 tickets. And did you see Matt dance with that Argentinean tango dancer ... Read More
  • April
    25

    Location Intelligence - VE + SQL Server...

    Ed Katibah (Spatial Ed) and I are doing a workshop Monday, April 28 morning at The Location Intelligence Conference in Santa Clara, CA. The workshop will focus on integration points between Virtual Earth and SQL Server. The workshop starts at 9AM. We provided the following description: Title: Microsoft Spatial Company: Microsoft Presenter: Chris Pendleton and Ed Katibah Room: Ballroom C Description: : This workshop provides an in-depth look at both Microsoft SQL Server Spatial and Microsoft Virtual Earth products. Come see how the union of these two platforms illustrate the power of both geo-spatial querying and geo-data visualization within a single Microsoft solution. If you want to learn about Virtual Earth - show up. If you want to learn about SQL Server 2008 Spatial - show up. If you want to learn about how Virtual Earth and SQL Server 2008 will work together - show up. We're going to go through VE in detail, SQL Server Spatial in detail and then walk through an application that uses both. We're going deep and technical, so plan on seeing some code. Don't worry, we'll cover the high level stuff first but we need to get into the nitty gritty to really show you the benefits of developing... Read More Ed Katibah (Spatial Ed) and I are doing a workshop Monday, April 28 morning at The Location Intelligence Conference in Santa Clara, CA. The workshop will focus on integration points between Virtual Earth and SQL Server. The workshop starts at 9AM. We provided the following description: Title: Microsoft Spatial Company: Microsoft Presenter: Chris Pendleton and Ed Katibah Room: Ballroom C Description: : This workshop provides an in-depth look at both Microsoft SQL Server Spatial and Microsoft Virtual Earth products. Come see how the union of these two platforms illustrate the power of both geo-spatial querying and geo-data visualization within a single Microsoft solution. If you want to learn about Virtual Earth - show up. If you want to learn about SQL Server 2008 Spatial - show up. If you want to learn about how Virtual Earth and SQL Server 2008 will work together - show up. We're going to go through VE in detail, SQL Server Spatial in detail and then walk through an application that uses both. We're going deep and technical, so plan on seeing some code. Don't worry, we'll cover the high level stuff first but we need to get into the nitty gritty to really show you the benefits of developing... Read More
  • April
    24

    BC Hydro

    More on the utilities front - BC Hydro is using Virtual Earth to show their customers outages that they are aware of in British Columbia. First off - I love this. I lost power in my house in Woodinville, WA when the wind storms 16 months ago knocked out power for most of the eastside of Seattle. Puget Sound Energy had posted a PDF of outages they were aware of, but the map was a static PDF that no one ever updated after it was first published. I had no idea when my electricity was going to be back on, nor did I know if they were even aware that 25 trees were lain across the wires at the top of my neighborhood. Providing a dynamic solution (such as what BC Hydro has provided) allows customers a few different ways (list, mobile and most importantly map views) to visualize that "Yes, we know you lost power, we're working on it and we plan to fix it by 'this' time." The BC Hydro map site specifically provides information about the number of customers affected, the time the power turned off, the estimated time the power will return, when the page was last updated and in a unique spin what caused the outage! Now, this is simply awesome to put that information out there. Currently, there are... Read More More on the utilities front - BC Hydro is using Virtual Earth to show their customers outages that they are aware of in British Columbia. First off - I love this. I lost power in my house in Woodinville, WA when the wind storms 16 months ago knocked out power for most of the eastside of Seattle. Puget Sound Energy had posted a PDF of outages they were aware of, but the map was a static PDF that no one ever updated after it was first published. I had no idea when my electricity was going to be back on, nor did I know if they were even aware that 25 trees were lain across the wires at the top of my neighborhood. Providing a dynamic solution (such as what BC Hydro has provided) allows customers a few different ways (list, mobile and most importantly map views) to visualize that "Yes, we know you lost power, we're working on it and we plan to fix it by 'this' time." The BC Hydro map site specifically provides information about the number of customers affected, the time the power turned off, the estimated time the power will return, when the page was last updated and in a unique spin what caused the outage! Now, this is simply awesome to put that information out there. Currently, there are... Read More
  • April
    24

    Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal...

    The French MSN Entertainment team did a sweet mashup for the release of the new Indian Jones movie - Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull . The application highlights different scenes in the movie, specifically where they take place across the globe. Yes, it's in French since the movie debuted in France at the Cannes Film Festival. The application uses our raster overlay capabilities. You can take your own images or PDFs (such as this map) and layer them atop of Virtual Earth to give your maps a more custom look and feel. There are a few different ways to overlay rasters atop of Virtual Earth - (a) you can " Build Your Own Tile Server " as documented in the MSDN Technical Article; (b) you can use Microsoft Map Cruncher ; or, (c) you can use a third party such as Safe's FME which will allow you to convert vector data to Raster format and store it in SQL Server on the fly. Fun stuff when you start talking about Indiana Jones - check out the trailers here . Plus, all of the vector information such as pushpins, line and polygons will still work with geo-accuracy. The application also highlights custom pushpins and information in the pop-ups when you hover over a pushpin. Pushpins... Read More The French MSN Entertainment team did a sweet mashup for the release of the new Indian Jones movie - Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull . The application highlights different scenes in the movie, specifically where they take place across the globe. Yes, it's in French since the movie debuted in France at the Cannes Film Festival. The application uses our raster overlay capabilities. You can take your own images or PDFs (such as this map) and layer them atop of Virtual Earth to give your maps a more custom look and feel. There are a few different ways to overlay rasters atop of Virtual Earth - (a) you can " Build Your Own Tile Server " as documented in the MSDN Technical Article; (b) you can use Microsoft Map Cruncher ; or, (c) you can use a third party such as Safe's FME which will allow you to convert vector data to Raster format and store it in SQL Server on the fly. Fun stuff when you start talking about Indiana Jones - check out the trailers here . Plus, all of the vector information such as pushpins, line and polygons will still work with geo-accuracy. The application also highlights custom pushpins and information in the pop-ups when you hover over a pushpin. Pushpins... Read More
  • April
    24

    New Version of Virtual Earth Intellisense...

    Marc Schweigert has updated his Intellisense helper for developing Virtual Earth applications in Visual Studio. The new version is updated to support the new features of Virtual Earth 6.1 . Read all about it on Mark's blog . CP Marc Schweigert has updated his Intellisense helper for developing Virtual Earth applications in Visual Studio. The new version is updated to support the new features of Virtual Earth 6.1 . Read all about it on Mark's blog . CP
  • April
    22

    Happy Earth Day, 2008

    It's been a crazy travel schedule and I'm just now getting a chance to do some blogging (and not for long). NAB in Vegas was awesome - I had no idea how much cool stuff the media guys get to play with. Virtual Earth has been added to a lot of the editing software, so I'm expecting to see some cool broadcast, shows, movies, etc. using Virtual Earth. So, it's Earth Day and I figured I'd post something that combines it with Virtual Earth. Enter Sungevity . The site allows you to pin point your house (in California right now) and request information about solar power. I tried my former town home in San Diego (Mission Valley). I'm waiting for the email now about information, but it's apparently not automated so I guess I'll have to post back more information later. Now, how's that for a unique use of Virtual Earth on Earth Day? You can read more about it on businessGreen.com . Also, check out The Carbon Grove (sponsored by IE). You can also Go Green using our Walking Directions . CP It's been a crazy travel schedule and I'm just now getting a chance to do some blogging (and not for long). NAB in Vegas was awesome - I had no idea how much cool stuff the media guys get to play with. Virtual Earth has been added to a lot of the editing software, so I'm expecting to see some cool broadcast, shows, movies, etc. using Virtual Earth. So, it's Earth Day and I figured I'd post something that combines it with Virtual Earth. Enter Sungevity . The site allows you to pin point your house (in California right now) and request information about solar power. I tried my former town home in San Diego (Mission Valley). I'm waiting for the email now about information, but it's apparently not automated so I guess I'll have to post back more information later. Now, how's that for a unique use of Virtual Earth on Earth Day? You can read more about it on businessGreen.com . Also, check out The Carbon Grove (sponsored by IE). You can also Go Green using our Walking Directions . CP
  • April
    11

    Virtual Earth Technical Briefing

    Johannes Kebeck of our EMEA Virtual Earth Team is giving a technical briefing for Virtual Earth on May 8, 2008 @ 10 GMT, London. If you're available and interested you can tune into this free web cast to hear the latest and greatest about VE and a heavy dose of Version 6.1 and probably a peppering of SQL Server 2008 Spatial. You can register for the event on the Microsoft Events Web Site . This is part of a quarterly review for the EMEA group focused on Virtual Earth. "Hey, Chris, why aren't you giving us quarterly updates?" Hmm. IDK. Maybe, I'll do something like that too. I was doing updates every release, but now I just blog. There are only so many hours in the day, I suppose. For now, I'll defer to Johannes. CP Johannes Kebeck of our EMEA Virtual Earth Team is giving a technical briefing for Virtual Earth on May 8, 2008 @ 10 GMT, London. If you're available and interested you can tune into this free web cast to hear the latest and greatest about VE and a heavy dose of Version 6.1 and probably a peppering of SQL Server 2008 Spatial. You can register for the event on the Microsoft Events Web Site . This is part of a quarterly review for the EMEA group focused on Virtual Earth. "Hey, Chris, why aren't you giving us quarterly updates?" Hmm. IDK. Maybe, I'll do something like that too. I was doing updates every release, but now I just blog. There are only so many hours in the day, I suppose. For now, I'll defer to Johannes. CP
  • April
    11

    Walking Directions Sample in VE 6.1

    I love the big city. I spend a fair amount of time in downtown areas like New York, Seattle and San Francisco, so something like walking directions is a very valuable feature for me. I spend a lot of time in LA too, but who walks in LA?? You remember the MIssing Persons song, Walking in LA , "Nobody walks in LA." I digress. So, check out this new "routing" feature. My typical day in NYC starts at the Marriott Marquis in Midtown. I like to walk to Starbucks to get some diesel to help me compensate for the time difference when going East. Let's say that instead of walking to one of the two that are kitty-corner from the hotel I chose to walk a bit further for a bit of exercise. So, I'm going to set my app up to route from the Marriott @ "1535 Broadway, New York, NY' to Starbucks @ '1166 Avenue Of The Americas, New York, NY.' <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" " http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd" > <html> <head> <title>Walking Directions Sample</title> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"> <!-- saved from url=(0014)about:internet --> <script type="text/javascript... Read More I love the big city. I spend a fair amount of time in downtown areas like New York, Seattle and San Francisco, so something like walking directions is a very valuable feature for me. I spend a lot of time in LA too, but who walks in LA?? You remember the MIssing Persons song, Walking in LA , "Nobody walks in LA." I digress. So, check out this new "routing" feature. My typical day in NYC starts at the Marriott Marquis in Midtown. I like to walk to Starbucks to get some diesel to help me compensate for the time difference when going East. Let's say that instead of walking to one of the two that are kitty-corner from the hotel I chose to walk a bit further for a bit of exercise. So, I'm going to set my app up to route from the Marriott @ "1535 Broadway, New York, NY' to Starbucks @ '1166 Avenue Of The Americas, New York, NY.' <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" " http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd" > <html> <head> <title>Walking Directions Sample</title> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"> <!-- saved from url=(0014)about:internet --> <script type="text/javascript... Read More
  • April
    11

    My First Virtual Earth 6.1 Application

    As you patiently wait on the release of the docs (sometime around noon today) I figured I'd post a quick blog to get you testing the backwards compatibility (and some challenges associated with it). I'm going to use the geocoding application I wrote in a post a couple days ago to show the new locale requirements for geocoding. So, first thing is how to you access VE Version 6.1? Change your JS Link from http://dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/mapcontrol.ashx?v=6 to http://dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/mapcontrol.ashx?v=6.1 . Just swapping that our allows you to test against the new version. Okay, so for geocoding and specifying the locale you just need to add the mkt parameter to the URL string as such (for German): http://dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/mapcontrol.ashx?v=6.1&mkt=de-DE . So, let's say I want to geocode a location in Italy in Italian such as "Roma" you would use the following code: <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" " http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd" > <html> <head> <title>Sample App</title> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"> <!-- saved from... Read More As you patiently wait on the release of the docs (sometime around noon today) I figured I'd post a quick blog to get you testing the backwards compatibility (and some challenges associated with it). I'm going to use the geocoding application I wrote in a post a couple days ago to show the new locale requirements for geocoding. So, first thing is how to you access VE Version 6.1? Change your JS Link from http://dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/mapcontrol.ashx?v=6 to http://dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/mapcontrol.ashx?v=6.1 . Just swapping that our allows you to test against the new version. Okay, so for geocoding and specifying the locale you just need to add the mkt parameter to the URL string as such (for German): http://dev.virtualearth.net/mapcontrol/mapcontrol.ashx?v=6.1&mkt=de-DE . So, let's say I want to geocode a location in Italy in Italian such as "Roma" you would use the following code: <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" " http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd" > <html> <head> <title>Sample App</title> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8"> <!-- saved from... Read More
  • April
    11

    New Virtual Earth API Release - Virtual...

    Today we launched a new version of the Virtual Earth API . The release has a host of new features and takes advantage of some of the capabilities you've been envying on Live Search Maps. Below is a laundry list of new features in Virtual Earth 6.1 that we added today. The good news is that 6.1 is fully backwards compatible to Version 6.0. You just need to update you JavaScript Link URL string to get the new version..The Interactive SDK was updated, as well as, the SDK on MSDN . Immersive Imagery Virtual Earth is an industry leader in providing precise views of the world through bird’s eye 1 view and panning, and improved 3D model accuracy and resolution, among other features. Precise imagery creates immersive end-user experiences that bring location-based information to life. · More Detailed 3D Experiences: With this latest release, the map detail for Las Vegas, NV; Phoenix, AZ; Dallas, TX; and Denver, CO features improvements in 3D model accuracy and resolution detail to reveal more buildings, small terrain features, building textures, and trees that enhance overall realism. This enhanced 3D map detail will soon roll out to the more than 250 cities where 3D models are currently available... Read More Today we launched a new version of the Virtual Earth API . The release has a host of new features and takes advantage of some of the capabilities you've been envying on Live Search Maps. Below is a laundry list of new features in Virtual Earth 6.1 that we added today. The good news is that 6.1 is fully backwards compatible to Version 6.0. You just need to update you JavaScript Link URL string to get the new version..The Interactive SDK was updated, as well as, the SDK on MSDN . Immersive Imagery Virtual Earth is an industry leader in providing precise views of the world through bird’s eye 1 view and panning, and improved 3D model accuracy and resolution, among other features. Precise imagery creates immersive end-user experiences that bring location-based information to life. · More Detailed 3D Experiences: With this latest release, the map detail for Las Vegas, NV; Phoenix, AZ; Dallas, TX; and Denver, CO features improvements in 3D model accuracy and resolution detail to reveal more buildings, small terrain features, building textures, and trees that enhance overall realism. This enhanced 3D map detail will soon roll out to the more than 250 cities where 3D models are currently available... Read More
  • April
    10

    Environmental Support Solutions Conference

    I'll be stepping away from The National Association of Broadcaster's Conference in Las Vegas for a day to present at the Environmental Support Solutions Conference in Phoenix April 15. ESS is " the industry's premier conference dedicated to enabling software technologies for environmental stewardship and corporate sustainability. This global forum will bring together responsible EH&S and Crisis Management professionals from around the world to share how their organizations are leveraging technology to reach corporate sustainability goals. " Review the agenda for details, but my session starts at 2PM on Tuesday April 15 in the Crisis Room - sounds appropriate. My session summary is below: CP I'll be stepping away from The National Association of Broadcaster's Conference in Las Vegas for a day to present at the Environmental Support Solutions Conference in Phoenix April 15. ESS is " the industry's premier conference dedicated to enabling software technologies for environmental stewardship and corporate sustainability. This global forum will bring together responsible EH&S and Crisis Management professionals from around the world to share how their organizations are leveraging technology to reach corporate sustainability goals. " Review the agenda for details, but my session starts at 2PM on Tuesday April 15 in the Crisis Room - sounds appropriate. My session summary is below: CP
  • April
    10

    Live Search Maps API

    I need to mention an API that many people don't know exist and that's the API that allows you to publish data right to Live Search Maps using URL parameters. If you click on the " Help " link on the bottom right of Live Search Maps you get a help file popup. From there you can look up problems with Live Search Maps and other stuff, but more importantly you can pull up the API documentation for how to publish data directly to Live Search Maps by passing in the respective arguments in a URL string. Search for "API" and the first result will be "Build your own URL" as shown below. So, if Virtual Earth is a little more than you need, but Live Search Maps is just not enough perhaps this methodology of publishing your data is just right. I've pasted some of the docs below just to get it indexed. Build your own URL Create a link to add to an e-mail, blog (Short for weblog. An online journal. Each entry typically contains personal thoughts and Web links, with the newest entries listed first.) , or personal website that opens Live Search Maps to a specific location, map view, and zoom level. You can customize your link to display specific search results, driving directions, or items in a collection... Read More I need to mention an API that many people don't know exist and that's the API that allows you to publish data right to Live Search Maps using URL parameters. If you click on the " Help " link on the bottom right of Live Search Maps you get a help file popup. From there you can look up problems with Live Search Maps and other stuff, but more importantly you can pull up the API documentation for how to publish data directly to Live Search Maps by passing in the respective arguments in a URL string. Search for "API" and the first result will be "Build your own URL" as shown below. So, if Virtual Earth is a little more than you need, but Live Search Maps is just not enough perhaps this methodology of publishing your data is just right. I've pasted some of the docs below just to get it indexed. Build your own URL Create a link to add to an e-mail, blog (Short for weblog. An online journal. Each entry typically contains personal thoughts and Web links, with the newest entries listed first.) , or personal website that opens Live Search Maps to a specific location, map view, and zoom level. You can customize your link to display specific search results, driving directions, or items in a collection... Read More
  • April
    09

    Virtual Bird's Eye

    There's a new site on the web that focuses on calling out specific features of Live Search Maps - Virtual Bird's Eye . The site "focuses on linking to cool places, news stories, event and random locations." The site has tons of posts to cool places that just look amazing in Bird's Eye View and has rotating content. This week's focus is Major League Baseball, so there are links directly to all of the MLB stadiums around the US. Last week was all about The Professional Golfer's Association. Check out the 3D flyover tour of the Augusta golf course in Georgia. They took advantage of the 3D Tours feature on Live Search Maps which allows you to create a collection in Live Search Maps (inclusive of text, links and pictures) and "tour it" in Virtual Earth 3D. CP There's a new site on the web that focuses on calling out specific features of Live Search Maps - Virtual Bird's Eye . The site "focuses on linking to cool places, news stories, event and random locations." The site has tons of posts to cool places that just look amazing in Bird's Eye View and has rotating content. This week's focus is Major League Baseball, so there are links directly to all of the MLB stadiums around the US. Last week was all about The Professional Golfer's Association. Check out the 3D flyover tour of the Augusta golf course in Georgia. They took advantage of the 3D Tours feature on Live Search Maps which allows you to create a collection in Live Search Maps (inclusive of text, links and pictures) and "tour it" in Virtual Earth 3D. CP