SPIEGEL ONLINE writes: “Google and Microsoft are racing to provide computer users with a virtual world tour. Who will be the first to offer its readers a 3-D map of the globe?”
Gates and Google founders Sergej Brin and Larry Page know perfectly well that their digital maps represent the key to a future market potentially worth billions. The 3D Web, as Internet experts call it, could be a platform for new forms of advertising, social networking and online trading. Google Earth and Virtual Earth are like “a seed being sown,” according to Internet analyst Greg Sterling, who adds that he has “no idea” today what exactly will grow from that seed.