The World Map of Corruption Perceptions Index 2006
Finland, Iceland and New Zealand rank No.1 as the most transparent countries in the world. Australia ranks nine with Netherlands, followed by Austria, Luxembourg, UK and Canada. USA ranks 20.
Singapore ranks five as the most transparent country in Asia. Hong Kong, the SAR of China, ranks 15 as the second in this region while the communist mainland China only ranks 70, even much lower than the rank 34 which is attributed to Taiwan, a province of China.
It is a shame for China. In fact, it is a shame for the Communist Party of China (CPC), the sole party in power in China which hypocritically claims that it always represents "the requirements of the development of China's advanced productive forces, the orientation of the development of China's advanced culture, and the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the people in China" (The Three Represents, 三个代表).
Nowadays, the CPC just represents corruption in a lot of people's minds in mainland China.
What’s unique about Virtual Earth 3D compared to the competition? Kevin Briody, of Microsoft's Online Services Group, outlined the distinctions in his email to partners:
Virtual Earth 3D platform runs within the browser. Google Earth’s 3D program is standalone and requires a separate download.
Google Earth 3D provides grey scale boxes of buildings. Virtual Earth 3D provides an immersive textured mapping experience with photorealistic textured buildings that are created by our Virtual Earth product team.
Google relies on developers to incorporate textures to buildings for their 3D mapping experience. Virtual Earth 3D has the capability of providing photorealistic textured buildings in-house.
All of VE 3D’s immersive mapping experience is created in-house, from the cameras themselves to the algorithmic program that develops the textured 3D models.
Specifically, when people visit Live Search (http://live.com), type a query into the search bar and click the “maps” tab, they get their search results in a map context that offers the option to explore the area using two-dimensional views (aerial and exclusive bird’s-eye imagery) or three dimensional models with Virtual Earth 3D.
At launch, Microsoft’s 3D imagery is available for 15 cities in the States, including:
San Francisco, CA
Los Angeles, CA
Las Vegas, NV
Fort Worth, TX
San Jose, CA
Microsoft is continually adding new cities to Virtual Earth 3D and are actively working to expand to other countries in the near future.
Starting with the TerraServer project, Microsoft has worked in mapping areas for 10 years. The other products include Microsoft MapPoint and my favorite Microsoft Streets & Trips. The succeeded one is the #1 best-selling travel and map software that works well with GPS and PPC. I use it since 1998.
Due to the recent change of Google Page Creator, all images that previously hosted at googlepages.com have been migrated to Google Sites at sites.google.com. As a result, some early posts of this blog site cannot show the images directly.
However, you may simply click those blank images to view the migrated copies in full size. All the affected images will be moved to Picasa Web Albums in the near future. Sorry for any inconvenience it may cause.
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