Google and Microsoft map out the future

You wait ages for 3D mapping and then two competing technologies come along at once. Both Google Maps and Microsoft's Live Search Maps have started to

You wait ages for 3D mapping and then two competing technologies come along at once. Both Google Maps and Microsoft's Live Search Maps have started to flesh out the flat landscape with the plump, juicy third dimension.Microsoft's gone for the 3D rendered buildings we saw at CES in January, while Google's opted for actual photo-stitched views for its surprisingly effective 'Street View'. It's more photo realistic but only gives you the view of a virtual man walking down the street rather than the fly anywhere and ogle from any angle option of Live Search.New York looks pretty fantastic in either service but for now only Microsoft has ventured over to the UK, and even then only for small parts of the Big Smoke. Actually, make that Nelson's Column, the London Eye, County Hall, Battersea Power Station, the Dome, a few bridges and, er, that's it. Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and just about anything else looked decidedly flat when we perched on top of Nelson's Column to take in the one-eyed view (pictured). Still, 'til they invent pigeon cam, it's the best we've got.