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ArtMan

Microsoft maps.live.com

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Much as I enjoy bashing Microsoft products, I really like the "bird's eye view" feature on their mapping site, which has aerial photos taken at an angle. It's only available in some areas (major cities and their suburbs, as far as I've determined in limited tests so far). You get a choice of views taken from up to four different directions. I've used it on a couple of logs to give a better idea of the location of a find (or non-find). With a little Photoshop labeling, I think these photos are very useful and intuitive, perhaps more so than a conventional map or Google-style aerial photo. Here's an example (from HV7729, Washington, DC):

a1791bf2-cf12-4317-8af5-cb14a0d38e51.jpg

 

-ArtMan-

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I'm clueless on what to enter to produce a map location - I have no idea how to enter a location to generate a map. Any hints on what to enter on line one (WHAT) and line two (WHERE) to produce a map?

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I got to an area of interest (in Raleigh NC) quite quickly using the map on the welcome screen. I used the PAN function to keep the map centered on the target, while I used ZOOM IN to get closer and closer. When I was sure I was at my desired location, I switched from MAP to AERIAL PHOTO.

 

There is a SEARCH BY ADDRESS field at the top of the screen. The HELP function has other suggestions. I copied this:

 

Find a location in Live Search Maps

Live Search Maps can help you find a landmark, a city, or a map of a city or area. For information about how to get driving directions, see Get driving directions.

 

To find an address or a landmark:

Go to http://maps.live.com.

Leave the upper search box blank.

In the lower search box, type one of the following:

 

A full address: To ensure the best possible match, include as much of the address as you can. Use commas to separate lines in the address.

 

A partial address: To ensure the best possible match, include the name of the country.

 

A place or neighborhood name: To ensure the best possible match, include as much of the name as you can.

 

Click the Search button .

 

To find a map of a city or area:

Go to http://maps.live.com.

Under the search boxes, click the Maps search option.

In the search box, type a city, an address, or the name of a landmark.

Click the Search button .

 

To include a link to the search result in an e-mail message, point to the search result or marker on the map, and then click Send in e-mail.

 

Notes

To include a link to the search result in an e-mail message, point to the search result or marker on the map, and then click Send in e-mail.

Unless you search for a category and a specific location, your search includes only the visible part of the map.

If we don't find a match in your location, we'll return the closest relevant results. The closest relevant results may not be near your location.

 

There is a way to get the map to open to a particular location each time you visit the site. Check the HELP topics for details.

 

I have not found a way to search by Lat/Long, nor did I see a way to read coordinates (as can be done with the subscription service TOPOZONE.)

 

Overall, this is a pretty good resource. Thanks, ArtMan, for sharing the info.

 

-Paul-

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Just a note: maps.live.com works differently (and much more poorly) in browsers other than Internet Explorer. I've found it hard to get to a simple location (as NorthWes did) when not using IE.

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Just a note: maps.live.com works differently (and much more poorly) in browsers other than Internet Explorer. I've found it hard to get to a simple location (as NorthWes did) when not using IE.
I've used it in Firefox without any particular difficulty, though I haven't compared to to see if it's better in IE. The interface is much more cluttered than Google Maps.

 

As Paul observes, it does not seem possible to go directly to a particular lat/long. I don't see that this service is any better than Google with the exception of the Bird's Eye View, which is apparently confined to the built-up areas where a street address or intersection will in most cases get you to the place you want to be.

 

-Art-

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It's possible my experience is due to my using a Mac. Microsoft doesn't like those, either.

 

Psssst. I've got a "hot tip" for you, Shorelander. It begins with the little-known fact that Bill Gates is sharing his fortune. Here's how it works: You send him an E-mail and he sends you a check. The amount will vary from $4,000 to $48,000! Then you use the money to purchase a second computer (Windows-based, of course). You use this only for benchmark hunting! Easy, huh?

 

I know what you're thinking, but this has to be true. Yesterday, I received my 400th forwarded message describing the program and telling what people had received. Why, this was on Good Morning, America, for gosh sake! Be a believer!

 

Warning! Some people broke the chain and did not forward the E-mail as directed. Within a few days, the coils fell off their metal detectors, the screens on their GPS units got scratched, and 100 of their most recent NGS submissions mysteriously disappeared!

 

And they didn't get the 2nd computer.

 

-Paul-

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Gee, that's great news, Paul. Soon as I finish ordering these guaranteed-to-work enhancement products, I'll get right on it.

 

But why doesn't Steve Jobs pick up his iphone and get his guys busy on the same kind of scam — er, PROMOTION, I mean, and wrestle a few more slivers of market share from Redmond? Given the excessive premium one pays for apple glossiness, he should be able to afford it.

 

I'm waiting for someone to market a Ubuntu-equipped laptop.

 

-ArtMan-

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Maybe I'm missing something, but is there a good way to save the image shown in the browser? There is a custom print option, but that seems to save the image as a postscript file and not as a jpg/png or other type of image.

 

I tried saving the page, but the picture was all split up in to individual grid segments.

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I don't know how ArtMan did it, but one way would be to hit the "Print Screen" button on the keyboard, then open up Paint, and go select "Paste". Print Screen takes a screenshot and saves it to the clipboard, and by going to Paint, you can paste it from the clipboard and then play with it. There's probably a better way, though.

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I don't know how ArtMan did it, but one way would be to hit the "Print Screen" button on the keyboard, then open up Paint, and go select "Paste". Print Screen takes a screenshot and saves it to the clipboard, and by going to Paint, you can paste it from the clipboard and then play with it. There's probably a better way, though.

Actually, it's ALT-PrtScr (at least on my PC; YMMV). Then I pasted into Adobe Photoshop Elements to crop and add the graphical overlays.

 

-ArtMan-

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Alt+PrtScr, if I remember right, just takes a picture of the currently-open window (although that's probably just what you want in this case).

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I don't know how ArtMan did it, but one way would be to hit the "Print Screen" button on the keyboard, then open up Paint, and go select "Paste". Print Screen takes a screenshot and saves it to the clipboard, and by going to Paint, you can paste it from the clipboard and then play with it. There's probably a better way, though.

Same for me, using Win 2000, I just hit Prt Scr & paste into a paint program. :anicute:

Google Earth looks the same in my area.

Edited by whitecrow

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Alt+PrtScr, if I remember right, just takes a picture of the currently-open window (although that's probably just what you want in this case).

 

Yes.

PrtScr copies the whole screen into the paste buffer.

 

Alt+PrtScr copies just the active window.

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I have used Windows Live to build the Command & Control Map overlay for the Biggest FBI led operation on the East Coast last year. For what we needed it gave us a better image than Goggle or the image that the State of Virginia shot.

 

I know that the next images to come out from them will be street level looking at the front of the buildings. The view would be just like driving down the street. How do I know this? I stopped the Windows Live film truck and talked with the contractor that was doing the work. This was around the Richmond VA. area that would cover from as far east as 295 as far north as 295 & 95 as far west as 295 & 64 and as far south as 288. Look for it by the end of the second QTR.

 

Eaglehaslanded

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Wondering how long it will be before windows live makes it to Rockey Bar, Idaho.

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I thought I would add a pretty healthy dose of info I have figured out about using the maps.live.com, and it's bird eye view, to help in caching.

 

It appears that the Mappoint link on each geoceching.com cache page first goes to the 'old' mappoint.msn.com site. Then if the site detects, that you are on a Windows computer (not Mac), and you are using Internet Explorer (not Firefox, Opera etc) then it will forward you to maps.live.com, *AND* it uses the direct coordinates, and pinpoints the cache location. You can then switch to birds eye view, and zoom in and there is your cache location.

 

I have discovered that there is a way to 'trick' the old mappoint site into forwarding you to the new maps.live.com site, even if you are not using Internet Explorer on a Windows PC. You will need to change your browser 'agent' that gets reported to the web site.

 

There is a Firefox Extension that can do this. You can get it here:

 

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/59

 

Once it is added and you restart Firefox, there will be a User Agent Switch menu, under your Tools menu. If you switch it to Internet Explorer 6 (Windows XP) then you will be forwarded.

 

The only trouble with this, is that in theory, you would want to remember to switch it back after you are done to "default." Although perhaps it would not do much harm to leave it in that agent all the time. I suspect you will have some trouble with certain high level sites if you leave it in an inaccurate setting.

 

I have also now figured out fairly simple way to create a URL, in which you can enter any 'pure decimal' coordinates into, and get to the birds eye view oblique imagery, if your area supports it. This URL should work on any modern browser and an modern OS.

 

Keep in mind, the reason you would build your own URL like below, would be because you have coordinates you have manually figured out, which are different than the coords stored on main cache page, *and* you want to view imagery from maps.live.com, such as the birds eye view imagery.

 

My example below, is going to use the "Allie and Annie's Secret" cache in Edina, MN, found here:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...6f-68faee40c00f

 

1. First I converted the 'degree minutes.decimal" format used by geocaching.com into the pure degree.decimal format, by clicking the jeeep.com link (or convert to NAD27 at Jeeep.com.)

 

N 44° 53.459 W 093° 19.830

becomes

44.890983 -93.3305

 

2. Using the below URL form, replace the "lat" and "long" with your coords, in both places (a total of four places.) The first instance of your coords, sets the center of the map, and is separated by a tilde ~. The second instance of your coords, puts a pushpin, at the same point, and is separated by an underscore _.

 

"http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?cp=lat~long&style=h&lvl=18&sp=an.lat_long"

 

So my new URL is:

 

"http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?cp=44.890983~-93.3305&style=h&lvl=18&sp=an.44.890983_-93.3305"

 

3. Since not all locations have birds eye view oblique imagery, I have used the "h" style (hybrid) within this URL. I am using zoom level 18, which for most locations will render the normal satellite imagery from straight above. Many locations will not render the highest level of zoom, which is 19.

 

If you want to see the birds eye view, you will then need to click the icon with the buildings on it, if available to your area. There is one additional level of zoom, once you are within the birds eye angled view. You can also click the blue circles around the triangle, to view the area from N, S, E or W. Cool.

 

Like I said, the URL form aboce uses the style of "h" which is aerial and roads hybrid. There is also "a" for aerial only, and "r" for roads. If you know your area supports the birds eye view imagery, then you can switch the "h" style to "o" which will show you the oblique imagery upon entering the URL.

 

BTW - I found that sometimes the pushpin icon did not render in birds eye view, unless I click on the pushpin in the right scratch pad area.

 

I don't know why the main search box on maps.live.com is not designed to take any coords directly. Even entering many variations of the pure degree.decimal format does yield the right result. Hopefully, they will address this in the future. Feel free to give them feedback on this.

Edited by abnerone

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I have a couple of javascript buttons on my Firefox toolbar that, when clicked, spawn a popup box that asks for a PID and then takes me, respectively, to the NGS or Geocaching page for that PID.

 

I wonder if someone who know a bit of Javascript could adapt that for Microsoft Maps.

 

The code looks like this —

java script:void(str=prompt('PID:',''));if(str){location.href='http://www.geocaching.com/ [[ cont'd on next line ]]
 mark/details.aspx?Pid='+escape(str);}

java script:void(str=prompt('PID:',''));if(str){location.href='http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/ [[ cont'd on next line ]]
 cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox='+escape(str);}

 

I would like to credit the creator of these handy tools, but unfortunately I have forgotten. I hope someone can refresh my memory so proper credit is given.

 

-ArtMan-

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I have a couple of javascript buttons on my Firefox toolbar that, when clicked, spawn a popup box that asks for a PID and then takes me, respectively, to the NGS or Geocaching page for that PID.

I got the NGS one from Zhanna's site:

 

http://surveymarks.planetzhanna.com/

 

and always figured that she'd written it herself.

 

Patty

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