Bing Maps completes high-res aerial photo project

Microsoft has been working to create a database of aerial photos that can be accessed by its Bing Maps service for a while now. Today, the company announced that their Global Ortho Project has now completed its work for the continental United States.

In a post on the official Bing blog, Microsoft says:

With the Global Ortho project, the Bing Maps Imagery team set a new standard in aerial map imagery by collecting every square inch of the Continental United States and Western Europe at 30cm resolution (1 foot = 1 pixel) in just two years – something that had never before been accomplished.

Microsoft acquired Vexcel Imaging in 2006 and improved on that company's UltraCam device for use in its Global Ortho Project. It was able to cover nearly all of the US in just two years, including Cape Canaveral in Florida, where Microsoft took the image above of the now retired space shuttle Atlantis just before its final flight.

Microsoft does admit that the US government would not allow the company to take aerial images of two locations: Vandenberg Air Force Base in California and the infamous Area 51 in Nevada. Obviously because of that crashed spaceship that the Air Force has lying around...

Source: Bing Maps blog | Image via Microsoft

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The images of the Olympic park etc are EXTREMELY detailed! I was blown away when I saw it, you should definitely take a look.

Side Story:
Vandenberg Air Force Base in California is regarded as secretive as the infamous Area 51.

I had no idea that if the GOV wanted to hide two places that would be the 2nd choice lol
They might as well advertise that as Area 52 now.

Microsoft needs to buy out NearMaps to get most of AUS done quickly IMHO...

They by far have some of the highest res from the air photos iv seen and the most up-to-date

Something I don't get, are Nokia Maps being used for Bing, then why have this ?

Windows Phone 7 has Nokia or Bing but all WP8 talk is Nokia taking over Maps.

What's going on ?

WooHoo!!! said,
Something I don't get, are Nokia Maps being used for Bing, then why have this ?

Windows Phone 7 has Nokia or Bing but all WP8 talk is Nokia taking over Maps.

What's going on ?


It's called "sharing"

WooHoo!!! said,
Something I don't get, are Nokia Maps being used for Bing, then why have this ?

Windows Phone 7 has Nokia or Bing but all WP8 talk is Nokia taking over Maps.

What's going on ?

You are confusing what is what...

Nokia and Microsoft ware working together and Bing's platform is being merged with portions of Nokia's technology.

However, this is about imaging, that Microsoft is using and we should assume Nokia will also have access to as well.

The project was designed to bypass orbital satellite images that are inconsistent seasonally, and have weather obfuscation. So these set of images are not only crisp, but taken at about the same time of day, same season, and without weather distortions. (Meaning the passes were consistently timed, and redundant to ensure weather conditions were imaged.)


Microsoft is the father of imaging and mapping, which is what I think people are confusing.

Back in the 90s to demonstrate the power of MSSQL, Microsoft took TerraServer data and made it available via a basic web search, that was merged with their Encarta mapping data.

It was an impressive project, as it was dealing with a large pool of data at the time.

It paved the way for future mapping and imaging combination products from Microsoft, MapQuest, and later Google that copied the concepts from the Microsoft Virtual Earth project.