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A few days ago Microsoft released an update to maps.live.com adding New York to their Virtual Earth service. Whilst looking around I had a brain wave (as I’m famous for doing), I decided to look through my archives and grab a photo that I took at the top of the Rockefeller Centre of the New York skyline (the same that happens to be at the top of this blog) and try and match the location in Virtual Earth to see what the differences are.

New York City Skyline
View from the Rockefeller Center, New York City

Virtual Earth New York City Skyline
View from the Rockefeller CenterĀ in Virtual Earth

I got the view as close as I could, and I’m pleased to say that it’s a pretty close match, the Met Life building is almost in exactly the same position.

It got me thinking about a cool mash up that could be made, I’ve seen geotagging and applications like Mappr but something that would take it to the next level would be an application that utilises the Virtual Earth API and allows you to create a virtual tour around a city while looking at photos you’ve taken long the way. I guess it’s a bit like the Microsoft Live Labs Photosynth app that was previewed a while back, but with more of an emphasis on photos that you have taken.

Scenario: You’ve just been on holiday, say New York for example. When you get back and show them to friends and family you load up your favourite app and show them the boiler plate slideshow.

My Idea: You get back, load up the virtual tour app that shows you the Virtual Earth representation of New York, then you go around every location that you want to show photos of, mark them and create a ‘virtual tour’ while tagging what photos should be shown at each point. This not only gives you a more interesting thing to show people but it also allows them to visualise where exactly you visited.

If I could I would try to build a prototype, maybe one day I’ll learn how.

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  1. Your photo scenario has already been done with google earth, panoramio and saving waypoints as a kml file. :)