When it comes to coolness of online maps, we all refer to Google one way or the other. However, more and more sites are using Microsoft Virtual Earth as a platform as it provides features not available by any other services such as driving directions integration, amazing bird’s eye view closeups in selected but growing number of markets and their newly added 3D map feature (IE only via the API but Firefox is supported on their own site)
We tend to credit Google for innovation rather than Microsoft nowadays (and usually for good reason), but these unique features demand some kudos for the Redmond giant. Let’s not forget though, that Microsoft was providing mapping services long before Google got into the game via their MapPoint product line. The Microsoft Research branch was also behind the first, free attempt to collect nationwide aerial maps via Terraserver. Maybe that’s why they are playing a pretty competitive game with Google in the mapping arena.
As of our yesterday release, we, at RealBird, support both Google’s and Microsoft’s maps. We use them respectively for features where they shine more.
We have just introduced a complete upgrade for the RealBird private labeled driving directions feature. We have been providing private labeled driving directions for the real estate industry for years. We believed from the beginning that there was no reason to send consumers to general purpose mapping sites for directions to a property, but rather, agents should use this service as an opportunity for self advertising. Hence the need for private labeled driving directions with agent photos and contact information on every printed directions.
The new RealBird service – which is part of the RealBird Professional service level – provides now integrated driving directions with every single property website created via the RealBird Publisher.
See for example Anna Gandamana’s San Francisco listing. Click the Directions link to see the driving directions tool in action.
Furthermore, agents and consumers can use this service to see maps, aerial photos and 3D flyover maps and find local point of interests such as pizzeria in the vicinity of any US location. All private labeled with the contact information of the RealBird member.
Below are a couple of screenshots to highlight the unique features of this new tool.
Branded driving directions on street map
Location on Bird’s Eye View close-ups
Directions on satellite map