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MSN Live Local

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Directionsmag has a short feature on Microsoft’s LiveLocal, the new version of Virtual Earth. Aside from the usual mapping features LiveLocal also includes some oblique air photos of U. S. cities and a “Locate Me” feature for those who use WiFi technology (download required). The bird’s eye imagery is more interesting than useful and sometimes can be a little confusing as streets and addresses are not labelled.

Unfortunately, LiveLocal doesn't succeed in the basics of online mapping: finding addresses. Searching for addresses in the United States is no problem but anything beyond it borders fails miserably. A search for Paris, France ends up in Paris, Illinois with a number of other options being offered, none of them the correct one. The same applies for Toronto, Ontario and Melbourne, Australia. Panning and zooming is also a bit choppy; perhaps we’ve all become spoiled by Google Maps draggable panning feature.

In short: LiveLocal still needs alot of work.

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