Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
Hot Topic NBR Focus: GMO
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Surprise: Bing’s view of Auckland is better than Google Earth’s

Thu, 04 Feb 2010

There's some competition for the snoopiest view of your back yard.

Last night, departing Microsoft NZ exec Brett Roberts pointed out that his company’s search engine, Bing*, has just released maps of Auckland and other cities.

Check it out here at (you will need to install Silverlight - Microsoft’s equivalent of Adobe Flash - if you haven't already; it only takes seconds).

While Google Earth recently upgraded its New Zealand views, Bing still offers a noticeably sharper, smoother picture, revealing more bird’s eye details.

And the browser-based Bing map is appreciably faster than Google's Earth app, too.

Check out this view of the same Auckland street in Bing (above) and Google Earth (below):

Seven other areas of New Zealand - all random and rural - are also now on Bing.

I was roaming randomly out in the 'burbs. There are some show-pony CBD shots that are even sharper.

Google Earth still offers many more options, and is more mobile-friendly, but Bing does give you a basic street map overlay - which is probably what 90% of punters are after.

Both companies pull satellite pictures from various third parties to feed their aerial mapping services. But right now, it's clear who's packaging it into a better local view.

Nice to see one element of Microsoft’s big Bing push finally reaching our shores.

(*Yes, hundreds of millions of marketing dollars later - albeit none spent here - I still feel the need to clumsily describe what Bing is.)

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Surprise: Bing’s view of Auckland is better than Google Earth’s