Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bing Maps: New Imagery and Map Data

Microsoft introduced the second major update to Bing Maps since the Cloud mapping, search and location service was rebranded at the end of May 2009. The latest refresh to what used to be Live Search Maps (Virtual Earth) brings to the table no less than 41 Terabytes of new imagery and map data. Chris Pendleton, the Virtual Earth technical evangelist for Microsoft, revealed that the update extended the coverage of Bing Maps by almost 190,000 square kilometers, over 10,000 of which are just Bird's Eye imagery.

“We just deployed 41TB of new satellite imagery, aerial photography and vector data for Bing Maps covering 189,000+ square kilometers of Earth including 12,000+ square kilometers of Bird’s Eye photography. Did we get your town this time? Check out the Bing Maps World Tour to sit back, relax and watch the Bing Maps Silverlight Control take you through every new local with new data. Alternatively, you can immerse yourself into the application and explore for yourself,” Pendleton said.
The previous update for Bing Maps was introduced in May 2009 and offered users no less than 248,000 sq. kilometers of new imagery. At that time, Microsoft did not indicate the size, in TB, of the refresh that was announced after Live Search Maps and Virtual Earth were rebranded to Bing Maps and Bing Maps for Enterprise.

June 2009 was also the month when the Redmond company introduced Bing Maps World Tour. Hosted on Microsoft's Cloud platform, Windows Azure, and powered by Silverlight, Bing Maps World Tour is designed to allow users to easily navigate just the newly added content, delivered through the latest updates of the service.

“Each month the Bing Maps platform releases significant imagery from around the globe. This month's tour showcases the latest release including new imagery for 164 locations in 38 countries such as Australia, Canada, Spain, Mexico, India, Korea, China and the United States,” reads the welcome message for Bing Maps World Tour. Users have the option to either watch a slideshow and get familiar with the new content or explore all the new imagery added with the July 2009 update by themselves.

Bing Maps users will also be able to “check out the newly updated vector data information for Japan. All new roads throughout the entire country,” Pendleton added.


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