Geography 2.0: Virtual Globes

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A secret of the Microsoft Live Local Team

While talking to one of the guys from Microsoft Live Local, I learned a little bit about the way they do their internal business. According to the Microsoft rep, the Live Local team works in what he called "100-day sprints." The workgroups are expected to produce a predetermined, measurable result every 100 days. My thoughts are that a natural result for the Live Local Team is updated functionality for their product. So when was the end of the last "100-day sprint?" The rep answered, "May 23rd." Thus, by my calculation, we should expect some new Live Local functionality around August 31st.

More in line with their public announcement, I had the Microsoft guys clarify their goals for their Bird's Eye imagery. Their plan is to have Bird's Eye imagery available for 80% of the United States. When asked about the possible development of a virtual globe, the reps simply reiterated Microsoft's enthusiasm for Bird's Eye imagery and annotation. Fortunately, earlier in the day, Microsoft's Stephen Lawler gave a hint of things to come. Making reference to the fly-through functionality of Google-Earth-like software, and how Live Local does not offer such a 3D experience, he left no doubt that they were working on it. "We're the company that made Halo. The company that made Flight Sim," he said.