To my delight, I have recently discovered that Live Search Maps, while being less user-friendly, and lacking many of the features of Google Maps, has expanded their “Bird’s Eye” view across many cities, including Montreal (the feature has been available here for quite awhile but only for a small section of Downtown). The Bird’s Eye feature is more or less just an improvement on the conventional satellite aerial view we all know in Google Maps (Live Search also has aerial views which are actually much sharper than the views currently offered by Google). With this view, you see your location from above, but looking from an angle rather than from directly overhead. As a result, so long as it isn’t blocked by something taller, you can get a view of an entire building and can even rotate the view to see from four different sides. It’s not as neat as Google’s Street View but until Google finally puts their photos of Montreal online, Bird’s Eye (and the recently disappeared Toronto-based Virtual City) are the best we have for now.
One very interesting thing that I found while flying above Montreal was this graffiti (pictured above) painted on the roof of a building downtown. Traditionally, graffiti writers obviously generally aim to put their work in a place where it can be seen by the greatest number of eyes (while finding a balance of not being too visible in order to allude authorities), which usually doesn’t mean on flat rooftops where only a few people in tall buildings nearby can see it. However, these writers (ALVENO, KODE, and MP) seem to have the fact that almost everybody now has every rooftop in the city at their fingertips in mind, and have exploited that fact to get the kind of exposure that previously could have only been obtained if one was lucky enough to get their work immortalized in a published photo, or in the backdrop of a film. With the new technology discussed above, their tags will be accessible by anybody with a computer for as long as the tag stays on the roof and the photos are updated.