Oblique Imagery and Bing Maps.

Here’s a brief look at Bing Maps and the history of geospatial technologies at Microsoft from Encarta Atlas and TerraServer through to Virtual Earth and the freshly released Flight Sim. The Bing Maps team have been pioneers, innovating so many great features over the years like hybrid maps and birds eye, many of which contributed to the creation of Flight Sims environment. As mentioned in the video, aerial imagery is a big differentiator, especially oblique angled imagery, when applied to texturing buildings and other structures.

There’s a nice tip near the end of the video; fire up the Windows 10 Maps app and go into 3d mode to experience much of the same environment as Flight Sim. And here’s my additional tip for added thrill – plug in a USB XBOX controller and fly around effortlessly. Why is this app so hard to find in Windows?

Microsoft Flight Simulator is back!

It’s been over a decade since the last version was released, but Microsoft’s Flight Simulator is back and looks incredible! Here is a detailed hands on review at Techcrunch. The trailer has me wanting to call it a day and go install.

Vexcel gets a shout out in this in depth overview at Protocol for providing imagery and data products used to help create the real-world simulation. The heavy-lift engineering that goes into a product like this is staggering.

The algorithms and data — including OpenStreetMap — were then fed into Microsoft’s vast Azure computing cloud to generate Flight’s 2.5-petabyte model, which includes 2 trillion trees, 1.5 billion buildings (you can probably find your house), 117 million lakes and just about every road, mountain, city and airport on the planet.