MSN Launches New Map Search, Aerial Views

Share this content:
Microsoft is combining maps and local search capabilities with this week's launch of MSN Virtual Earth, which competes against a similar service from Google.

The beta version of MSN Virtual Earth provides a "deeply immersive" search experience, MSN said, and lets users search for information and activities relevant to specific U.S. locations, combining aerial imagery, detailed maps and "precise local search capabilities."

Google released its mapping product in June. Google Earth lets consumers zoom in on street-level views of buildings and terrain. Amazon's search engine also lets users zoom in on street-level views of businesses via its yellow pages.

"When you're in an unfamiliar city and need to find a nearby Chinese restaurant or ATM within walking distance of your hotel, a traditional Internet search experience won't give you the visual location-specific information you need," said Stephen Lawler, general manager of MSN Virtual Earth at Microsoft, Redmond, WA.

MSN said it is using licensed, quality yellow page directories for the beta program.

Like Google, MSN is stressing the new technology's use in local search. Location Finder, a separate component of Virtual Earth, "turns a regular, Wi-Fi-enabled laptop, tablet or PC into a location-determining device without the addition of any separate hardware."

MSN Virtual Earth users can view aerial photos or maps, with an overlay of road networks and point-of-interest information.

In the next beta release of Virtual Earth, scheduled for later this year, MSN will incorporate "bird's-eye" imagery, licensed from Pictometry International Corp., that depicts cities, landmarks and points of interest at a 45-degree angle view.

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above