ZDNET reports Microsoft has unveiled a beta version of Windows Live Local. It's a web version of their Virtual Earth software and it competes with Google Maps.
One of the special features of Windows Live Local is a 45-degrees bird's-eye view, for some locations.
The service will offer a 45° bird's-eye view covering about one-quarter of the country's population. Cities include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle and Las Vegas.
The bird's-eye images, captured by Pictometry International using low-flying planes, are integrated with road and satellite maps to simulate 360° panoramas that can be viewed from any of the four different compass directions. Users can choose between directional views, for instance, to see the front or back sides of buildings, or zoom closer using on-screen navigation tools and preview tiles.