Microsoft Corp. announced that it will begin to update the Virtual Earth™ online mapping platform with new, more detailed U.S. imagery under an agreement with GlobeXplorer LLC, a leading global provider of aerial and satellite images. The deal is part of Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to bring consumers the most up-to-date content and help them easily explore broader geographic areas through the Live Search Maps service (http://maps.live.com), which is powered by Virtual Earth.
“We share Microsoft’s dedication to making available the most current and richly detailed images of the earth on the Web,” said Paul Smith, chief operating officer of GlobeXplorer. “This collaboration will help us extend the value of GlobeXplorer content to millions more businesses and individuals over the Windows Live™ network of services.”
“Combining the vast aerial and satellite image library of GlobeXplorer with our current Virtual Earth mapping content will enable us to continue delivering exceptional experiences for consumers, enterprise customers, advertisers and software developers,” said Stephen Lawler, general manager of the Virtual Earth Business Unit at Microsoft. “I’m thrilled that we can deliver new dimensions of speed, accuracy and ease to local search, which is one of the fastest-growing categories online today.”
As part of the deal, more than 400,000 square miles of U.S. aerial imagery will be enhanced with high-resolution coverage. Microsoft and GlobeXplorer plan to integrate the new imagery into Virtual Earth over the next several months. More information about the Virtual Earth platform is available at http://www.microsoft.com/virtualearth.