Microsoft and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency recently announced a partnership to build better disaster response systems, powered by Virtual Earth. From the presspass article:
"The NGA will use the Microsoft® Virtual Earth™ platform to provide geospatial support for humanitarian, peacekeeping and national-security efforts... Currently, the two organizations believe they will both benefit from collaboratively implementing the latest technology and software applications and identifying best practices for the Virtual Earth and NGA global knowledge base... The NGA recently used the Microsoft Virtual Earth platform to develop a mapping site for relief efforts surrounding Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast region. Using the Virtual Earth platform, the NGA was able to disseminate satellite imagery belonging to commercial imagery vendors, enabling first responders and agencies to view the affected areas. "