Live Maps Belgium hit the web today as the next country in a wave of localized mapping sites built integrating local knowledge, local listing providers and the Microsoft Virtual Earth API. Belgium has an diverse audience, so leveraging this knowledge the local team built out both Live Maps Belgium in French and Live Maps Belgium in Flemish. Search Query: What is Flemish?

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Notice the “mkt” parameter for distinguishing between the two site localizations under the same domain - http://maps.live.be/?mkt=fr-be for French and http://maps.live.be/?mkt=nl-be for Dutch / Flemish – the default is French. For my fellow Yankees who want to explore the site, here are some helpful translations formatted as such: French / Flemish (English).

Plan / Straat (Road {Maps})
The route coverage for Belgium is excellent in Virtual Earth, so you’ll see tons of roads throughout the country.

Satellite / Lucht (Aerial {Maps})
We have everything from low resolution satellite imagery to high resolution aerial photography.

Aérien / Vogelvlucht-weergave (Bird’s Eye View)
Bird’s Eye photography is captured in the major areas of the country.

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3D
Live Maps Belgium now has the 3D view activated. This allows viewing the world in all dimensions, gives access to near-real-time weather and a growing number of 3D cities around the globe. Bird’s Eye overlay allows overlying the 3D view with our real bird’s eye photography

Commerces / Bedrijven (Search {Yellow Pages})
Put in the Quoi / Wat (what) and put in the Où / Warr (where) and start exploring a local yellow page listing result set provided by Pages d’or (for the French version) and Goudengids (for the Flemish version).

Collections / Verzamelingen (Explore Collections)
It is now possible to explore collections on Live Maps Belgium. Collections are user generated content that is collected from all over the web. Zoom in and click on “Collections (fr)” or “Verzamelingen (fl)” to view all areas of interest on the map.

Partager / Delen (Share)
Users can now not only share map links in mail but also publish them to their blog with just one click.

Itinéraire / Route-advies (Directions)
The routing engine now allows the creation directions using “le plus rapide / snelst” (fastest itinerary), “le plus court / kortst” (shortest itinerary) or “marche / lopen" (walking directions) algorithms. Walking directions is available in the Virtual Earth giving users the quickest way suitable for pedestrians.

Imprimer / Afdrukken (Print)
The site provides you with a specific style sheet setup just for printing.

CP