Peter Lewis has a fascinating article in Fortune on experiencing maps. He says:
Google and Microsoft are both testing ambitious new mapping programs. Beware: Even guys who are genetically incapable of asking for directions will be addicted.
Even in their current prerelease forms, the free test versions of MSN Virtual Earth (virtualearth.msn.com) and Google Earth (earth.google.com) demonstrate how mapmaking has been transformed in wondrous ways by the convergence of three-dimensional mapping technologies, satellite and aerial photography, powerful computers, search engines, databases, and the Internet. Both Google and Microsoft say they’ll formally launch the services by the end of the year, and going on a tripâ€”either physically or metaphysicallyâ€”will never be the same.
What is interesting is that this article emphasizes the quality of maps and interesting things that one can do with those. Only at the end, it talks about the timeliness of the maps. For route finding old maps are OK, but in emergency situations, one needs ‘dynamic maps’ that show how the situation is evolving there. Can this be done using mesh-ups or will it require some different technology? Difficult to say at this time.