Bing Maps released down under

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Bing Maps released down under

Adds 3D maps, but poor browser support.

Bing, Microsoft's purported Google killer, today released the next gun in its arsenal to the Australian market - Bing Maps.

Like its competitor, Google Maps, it provides easy access to satellite images and street maps - although Bing swaps out Google's Street View for its own 3D imaging.

Mapping data is supplied by MapData Sciences, Navteq, GeoEye, Digital Globe, Harris, Pictometryand Earthstar Graphics 

Performance-wise, a search on Bing Maps takes about as long as on Google. Bing's new service offers very clear satellite images with what appears to be more up-to-date photography than on the Google service.

Similar to Google Maps, Bing Maps also provides directions if a user provides details of an origin and destination.

Now in 3D

One of the great features that Bing Maps offers is a 3D mode in an effort to counter Google's Street View.

But many users won't find it compelling, as they simply won't see it. On Windows 7, users are required to download a small app and require the latest browsers from Internet Explorer or Firefox browser. Google Chrome is conveniently not supported.

On an Apple Mac the experience is more challenging - neither  Firefox, Safari and Chrome support 3D mode.

Bing Maps remains in Beta mode.

click to view full size image
3D map of Sydney - missing a few buildings!

click to view full size image
New York in 3D
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