Virtual Earth, Real Prizes

Several months ago, a coworker entered a competition Microsoft were running to encourage use of the new MSN Virtual Earth web services API. The first prize was $1000, but he noticed that the rules offered prizes both for the best entries and also the first 25 entries received. So, he spent an evening minimally modifying their sample code; the only change he made was to make it plot a different set of data points. However, MSN Virtual Earth only covers the USA and all of his points were outside it, so when you visited one, it said “You may want to use other mapping software to visit this site”, and offered a link to Google Maps!

Last month, a package arrived for him from Microsoft. It was a copy of Autoroute 2006, including a USB GPS receiver.

Even more ironically, they have now changed their API, and so his application no longer works.

4 thoughts on “Virtual Earth, Real Prizes

  1. Way to go Microsoft!!! That’s just one more reason why I’ll keep my subscription to Google Earth. Sometimes I even use it to go “outside USA borders”.


  2. THat looks like another Microsoft wonder story.
    Ram wrote : “Sometimes I even use it to go “outside USA borders””.

    Wow, that’s a success. Way to go Ram :)