We've released a new version of Virtual Earth 3D today. When you get to Live Search Maps and click 3D you'll be prompted to update your 3D control. As a part of this, you can also download the latest and greatest bits of 3DVia from Dassault Systèmes (or go to the 3DVia download center on Live.com).

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As for Dassault, well, they've just opened up their 3D model inventory hosted in 3DVia.com's 3D online content library as a part of a program called "remix" which is effectively a 3D mashup creator with Virtual Earth. You now have access to thousands of models hosted on 3DVia.com that can be "remixed" in 3DVia and hosted on Live Search Maps for rendering in your Virtual Earth application. Whoa. Additionally, they've updated the UI and navigation to be more user friendly (thank you!) and released video tutorials illustrating among other things how to build a house in less than 5 minutes. I'll be putting THAT to the test! Check out this sweet castle. I'm going to make it mine and put it on North Beach in Coronado.

You can read more in their press release which included the following quote from our very own Microsoft Virtual Earth General Manager Stephen Lawler, "Through our continued collaboration with Dassault Systèmes, we are now able to offer an even easier way for every Virtual Earth user to easily and intuitively create a realistic 3D version of their home, office or neighborhood. We’re pleased with the number of installs and engagement with the current version to date, and we expect that this new version will draw in even more enthusiastic users looking to bring their ideas to life in 3D."

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Oh, and here's a good time to apologize and correct some of my previous posts regarding our models. We have models in nearly 300 cities around the world - most of them in V1. Our V2 models are only in 6 cities - Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Miami, and Tampa. Vienna and Seattle, while amazing, were processed using V1 software. Sorry for the confusion.

In any case, I'm telling you the 3D Geoweb is upon us and Microsoft is SO ready for it.

CP