image I just joined Facebook. This is after a long, nightmarish experience of "friends" on MySpace forced me to delete my account (3 times) and depart from social networking sites altogether; however, I'm healed and recovered and now move forward with a Facebook account (don't be offended if you friend request me and I decline - I've only included people in my network that I really know and trust; or, have imbibed large amounts of alcohol with). Digression, digression.....

There are a couple applications on Facebook that are using Microsoft Virtual Earth, so I figured I'd call them out here in case you want to add them to your profile.

MapMate
MapMate allows you to see where your friends are based on where they say they are. There's no reverse IP, GPS, secret CIA satellite tracking mechanism or ghosts in the computer; although, if you have a stalker (s)he may hack your account and change your location. Anyway....the UI isn't totally intuitive, so you need to read the help file....okay, I'll help you! Once you have the application loaded onto your Facebook page, you click on MapMate and it will bring up a map of all of your friends who have MapMate and have specified their location. You can even drill down to street level to see EXACTLY where they are - muhahaha! Hey, you did allow them to be your friend, didn't you? How do you specify your location? That's the not so intuitive part. You need to navigate to where you are (yes navigate as they didn't include a Find box) then right-click on your location. A red pin with an ERO pop up asking you to update your status. Click save and you're updated! I can tell you right now I'm at the Westin South Coast Plaza....but who knows when I actually wrote this!

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Aerobis
Aerobis is for the fitness nut. I just got back into fitness because I'm suddenly single (ladies....) and need to work off some aggression. I'm currently cranking out 2-a-days! Anyway, the application is a great way to track your performance and OMG it's overwhelming how much there is, so here we go.

First off, complete the sport profile. The authors are German, so you'll need to convert your height from inches to centimeters (1 inch = 2.54 cm) and your weight from pounds to kilograms (1 lb = .4535924 kg). Wow, I seem taller and skinner using the metric system! Rest and max pulse are require fields and I don't know what mine are, so I'll stop there and go to the other stuff. I did say, I'm just getting back into it.

Even without the profile, you can do things like upload a route (KML or GPX) to view it on the Virtual Earth map and save it to your profile. Or, you can create a route by click on the map and having the application draw the route and calculate the distance for you. I just learned the route I take on occasion is 3.7 kilometers (even that sounds better than 2.2 miles!). To pull up routes you've created, just click work in progress. You can also publish your route for others to see and search for routes that have been published by others. I found some ski & snowboard routes in South Africa...turns out to be water skiing. Even better! There's tons more, so check out the Aerobis web site.

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Got a Facebook application that uses Virtual Earth (and not, eh, other maps in combination with Virtual Earth)? Send it to me. I'm loving Facebook. I was a MySpace addict until well, you know, stuff happens. It's good to be back.

CP