Bird's Eye View of the OC!

For the geography geek in my immediate area, Microsoft has uploaded bird's eye view photos of Ottawa County, Michigan (the screen capture above is a view of downtown Grand Haven).

These photos were taken by a company called Pictometry, which specializes in "Oblique" aerial photography. Microsoft has contracted them to obtain imagery for the top 150 Metropolitan Statistical Area in the country. In urban areas, there photos of every locations from all four directions and with high resolution (6-inch pixel or a maximum scale of 1" = 50' before the photo begins to pixelate). In rural areas, every locations has photos in two directions, north and south, and the resolution is still decent (1-foot pixel or 1"=100')
Microsoft is also obtaining street view photos for these areas through another company (I discuss street view here). For more geography geekery, check another post here. Here is a link to download Virtual Earth. Here is a blog focused on VE, and another focused just on Google Earth.

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