Local Live and Virtual Earth Updated! 3D in Firefox!

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johnWeeGo.jpgToday the VE team released an update to Virtual Earth and have converted http://maps.live.com to the new version. Of particular interest is the support of 3D in Firefox, until now it was IE only.


On the VE side the new features of V5 announced on Monday at the VE seminar were:

  • FireFox 2 support for all modes including 3D (Safari support for 2D only is planned for around May)
  • New shapes object that will have polygons, polylines and pushpins to make things more generic. (breaking change)
  • Download performance improvements. The javascript file is compressed (around 120KB is the guess from close to 500KB). The tile overfetching is disabled by default, this technique made the client download an entire ring of non visable tiles, now the user only downloads what is needed (visible and partially visable tiles) saving in some cases 400KB+ (detailed cities in hybrid mode).
  • All mouse and keyboard events can be captured
  • Birdseye continous panning and minimap as per maps.live.com