The Battle of the 3D Maps between Google and Microsoft was joined today at the O’Reilly Where 2.0 Conference where each of the contenders introduced new 3D imagery features for their online mapping services.
Microsoft spiffed up Live Search Maps with photo-realistic 3-D aerial imagery of New York City and several other cities. (Note that the approved brand name is apparently now Microsoft, not Windows, Live Search Maps.) Meanwhile, Google introduced Google Maps Street View for a number of major US cities which allows you to “virtually explore city neighborhoods by viewing and navigating within 360-degree scenes of street-level imagery.” See this video or experiment for yourself.
I found both of these 3D offerings a trifle quirky, but amusing to fool with. The real question though is how well 3D imagery helps attract advertising dollars and that remains to be seen.