Bing Maps just keeps getting cooler -- some would say more so than Google Maps -- and the latest trick will appeal to star gazers and armchair astronomers alike. Evolving from a client-based app to a Silverlight web-based implmentation, the WorldWide Telescope (WWT) project is now a Bing Mapps app.
"The WorldWide Telescope application allows you to view most of the features available in the Silverlight client right in Bing Maps," Chris Pendleton a Bing Maps Technical Evangelist for Microsoft, wrote in a blog post . "Yes, the WWT provides real time information about how the space is moving over the Earth. This provides context for where celestial entities are in real time if you were to look up at the night sky."
To try it out for yourself, just head over to Bing Maps and click the Map Apps button in the lower left. Select WorldWide Telescope (first row) and start gazing! If you want to jump straight to the stars, click on Start Here and drop the telescope icon anywhere on the map. As you drag the map, Bing will tell you which constellation you're looking at.
"Now, if you want the SUPER COOL effect you saw Blaise Arcas y Aguera demonstrate at TED you can just click on one of the collections which zips you down to Earth and changes the map stype to Streetside (where available)," Pendleton explains. "Once you're on the ground, just look up!"
Super cool indeed.