Virtual Earth UK Cities – Brighton and Swindon

Microsoft’s Virtual Earth now includes fully texture mapped 3D buildings for Brighton and slightly bizarrely, for a first inroad to the UK, Swindon.

Of interest for those in the know will be the inclusion of the GetMapping copyright on the data.

Next stop London? This will happen without doubt, we try to like Virtual Earth – really we do – but there is something about it that’s just not quite right. Google Earth and their 3D warehouse makes us smile, its community led with freely released modelling tools. Microsoft’s approach makes us more worried than anything.

You can take a look at Brighton, Swindon and the also newly released cities of Calgary, Redmond, Buffalo, Beaverton and Portland via

Author Bio

Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.


  1. jungle jim - May 8, 2007

    Now Swindon is famous for something other than its Magic Roundabout and being the setting for The Office (original UK version).

  2. jungle jim - May 8, 2007

    Oops, David Brent was in the Slough branch, not Swindon.

  3. Brian Norman - May 9, 2007

    To be fair to MS google started exactly the same with 3d cities added by google and no way for the community to add them.

    From speaking to the VE team they have said they aim to follow Googles path and allow 3rd party developers to add there own models with a mention of a community tool.

    I for one will be glad when we can do this as VE has the best coverage in the uk, far better than Google.

    Brian Norman

  4. Andy - May 9, 2007


    You are right – the coverage is impressive and any community tools would be welcome.

    It’ll be interesting to see what 3D format they choose to import data..

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