Yahoo Adds Satellite Imagery to Maps

Following in the footsteps of Google and Microsoft, Yahoo on Wednesday rolled out a new Yahoo! Maps beta complete with satellite and ariel imagery. The company says the service now offers the "best medium-resolution global map data" of any of its competitors.

Yahoo has attempted to improve on the standard satellite images by blending away seam lines and matching colors so the viewing experience is smooth. The leading Internet site has also attempted to one-up its rivals by providing complete coverage of the United States at a 1-meter per pixel solution.

Yahoo isn't stopping with U.S. imagery, offering global images at 15 meters per pixel. "Yahoo! has acquired global map data and medium resolution images, which lets users find and see cities, towns, and major land feature in the world," the company said.

Unlike other map solutions taking advantage of the recent push to AJAX-based Web applications, Yahoo! Maps employs Flash. When rolling out its improved mapping service last November, Yahoo said Flash technology enabled the company to add a level of interactivity not found on other sites.

The company was also the first to offer multi-point directions. For example, a user can input three or four locations they wish to visit and Yahoo! Maps will pull up the best route to follow.

"Offering satellite and aerial imagery is one more way Yahoo! serves as the leading resource for all things local to millions of users," a company spokesperson told BetaNews. "It’s a logical extension of Yahoo!'s recent product enhancements that included multi-point driving directions and improved zooming technology."

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