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Microsoft's Old Birds

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      Microsoft is touting something else to compete with Google over.
      They have a new aerial survey feature they call Windows Live Local with its 'Bird's Eye View'.

      Well. OK.
      To be fair. They didn't create the information. They just packaged it.
      Or really, repackaged it.

      But when you fly a banner headline saying "See what's new!" there should be something new to go see.

      And we're off.

      Popular aerial photography has been around since the barnstormer days of old where some guy would hang a camera out of the side of a plane and take a picture of some farmer's house then sell the print to them. But its history goes back to the Real Old Days of flight when cameras were strapped to the wicker baskets hanging from hot air balloons and other similarly creative ways of doing the job. The oldest surviving photograph so rendered is of Boston in 1860.
      The first known photograph taken from an airplane was snapped by none other than Wilbur Wright in a demonstration in Italy in 1909 during their European tour.

      Well, the aerial pictures on the Microsoft site aren't quite that old. But they are virtual antiques given the pace of modern development and construction.

      On the Google map page you can get a fairly recent picture of whatever it may be. Best guess would render them maybe a year or so old. The pictures are in color with good resolution down to 200 feet in this case. At the next step in, 100 feet, it is a little murky.
      With Microsoft. Well....
      Here's an example.
      Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware constructed a large hotel in 2001, it opened for business in March of 2002. On the Windows Live Local view, it is nowhere to be seen. Not even a cleared space for construction. In fact, the casino attached to the track which opened in 1995 isn't even there. The somewhat grainy black and white photo zooms down to 150 yards to reveal... a grass covered parking area. The grandstands aren't even all there. The image could well be from the late 1980's.
      Hhhhmmmm- if this is their 'bird's eye view' how old is the bird?

      It would seem that just maybe Wilbur Wright works for Microsoft. And is still sticking his camera out of the side of his Flyer to take pictures for MS Bill.

      Does Google and its Earth and Maps people have anything to worry about given this latest effort from MS to cut into their business?
      Not in the least.


[NOTE: Everything mentioned above is owned by somebody else. The Desk is NOT affiliated with any of them, including Wilbur Wright (who is NOT a Microsoft employee, no, really, he's not). No infringement or undue criticism is intended. thank you ]

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