It gracefully renders cities in 3-D views using 45-degree aerial photos, paired with traditional satellite and street-based photography.
The Silverlight tech makes moving through the city very smooth, losing the jarring changes that are common as you move around various street views in products like Google Maps.
Users can then drop into photosynths — geo-located collections of photos created by users — by dropping their little map onto geo markers, say for example the large collection of photos documenting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Additionally, users can quickly see what places are nearby other places on the map. For instance, you could see what restaurants are near the MOMA, see which ones are best-rated on the web, and then zoom in to see the restaurant.
Finally, the new Silverlight-powered mapping site adds “apps” that let people check out newspaper headlines around the world, see roadside attractions across the United States and map local blog posts onto a city. Another app uses Twitter’s new geo-location features to see Twitter posts as bubbles on the map.