Windows Live Local Goes Live

Windows Live is Microsoft’s repackaging of its web services, and Windows Live Local is to Virtual Earth what Google Local (see previous entry) is to Google Maps. (Or have I got that backwards?)

Anyway, Windows Live Local went live this morning. Unfortunately I’ve got a pile of errands to do today, so I couldn’t give it more than a cursory run-through. It does not work in Safari (there’s a surprise), but it does work in Firefox. Presumably it works even better in IE, but I’m not able to test that at the moment.

Bird’s-eye images are available for a few locations — about 25 per cent of the U.S., according to the Directions article announcing the launch — but their implementation, again, at least in my brief test using Firefox, is a little wonky. The images do not appear to be fluid or scrollable in the way that the aerial imagery and maps are, and occasionally I click on the icon that says “There is Bird’s Eye imagery available for this location” and get a notice that says it isn’t. I’ll chalk that up to beta status and the fact that it’s only day one. Stuff happens. On the location I tested — Boston — there are two levels of zoom in the bird’s-eye imagery.

More eventually.

Update, 8:45 AM: All Points Blog covers the launch; Adena notes the clunkiness and takes some (deserved) shots at the “Live Local” name.

Update, 9:45 AM: Cartography calls the bird’s-eye-view stuff “more interesting than useful” and also has this to say: “Unfortunately, Live Local doesn’t succeed in the basics of online mapping: finding addresses. Searching for addresses in the United States is no problem but anything beyond its borders fails miserably.”