Microsoft's Virtual Earth technology continues to take strides forward - not just in the inevitable mash-ups, but in new ways of accessing the maps (as well as from http://local.live.com ... which I keep on trying to access as live.local.com... d'oh). There are 3D maps in beta, as well as a cool add-in for Outlook 2000/3 (though yet to be updated for Outlook 2007).

I installed a newer version of Virtual Earth Mobile on my Pocket PC the other day... on searching for a business called Microsoft in Reading, here's what I was offered as an initial map...

 

Switching to road + aerial, zooming in a bit and sliding the keyboard out to rotate the screen gives us...

... and it can still zoom in two more levels, so you can make out specific details like the parasols outside the restaurant!

I actually used this to get to a customer today - arrived at Waterloo station and realised that I didn't know which immediate streets I needed to follow to get to the address I'd been given. I just searched for the street name, showed aerial view, walked past the London Eye and found it with no hassle ... be careful though: prolonged use could lead to very large data bills :)

Have a look yourself from the Windows Mobile Blog.