Virtual Earth & DigitalGlobe – Worldwide Imagery Improvement

image Well, well, well what have we here? We now have access to one of the highest resolution global satellite imagery and aerial photography collections (460 million sq. km. + 1 million sq. km. per day moving forward) through a deal we've just struck with DigitalGlobe. We'll finally be able to backfill areas around the world where people have come to my blog and complained about Virtual Earth not having good imagery or photos in their countries - Poland, Hungary, Russia, Taiwan, Mexico, to name a few - I've heard you loud and clear. And, now, we're fixing that problem. Read the press release below:

DigitalGlobe Announces New Content Partnership for Virtual Earth With Microsoft
Longmont, Colo., October 7, 2008 – DigitalGlobe, a leading global content provider of high-resolution world imagery solutions, today announced that it has signed an agreement with Microsoft Corp. for a multi-year contract under which DigitalGlobe will provide Microsoft’s Virtual Earth with its premium, high-resolution satellite and aerial imagery.
Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will have access to DigitalGlobe’s vast ImageLibrary, which contains over 460 million square kilometers of premium earth imagery, as well as new images being collected every day by its growing constellation of satellites.
“DigitalGlobe’s strategic approach to collecting earth imagery allows us to provide our customers with the high-resolution content they need,” said Erik Jorgensen, corporate vice president of Virtual Earth at Microsoft. “With its growing constellation of satellites, large network of aerial partners and a proven track record for delivering a large volume of new earth imagery, DigitalGlobe will be a key content partner for the Virtual Earth Platform.”

DigitalGlobe has been the pioneer in making earth imagery available worldwide for web portals and mobile mapping applications.  Its high-resolution satellite constellation and aerial program collect nearly 1 million square kilometers of earth imagery each day, with much of this imagery available via its online services.

“We are proud to partner with one of the world’s great technology companies,” said Marc Tremblay, senior vice president and general manager of DigitalGlobe’s Commercial Business Unit. “We look forward to working with the Virtual Earth team in the years to come as they continue to expand this powerful geospatial platform.” 


Comments (8)

  1. spinion says:

    When can we expect to see all this great imagery on our MSVE maps? Will it replace any existing aerial photography?

  2. Chris Pendleton says:

    You’ll see this soon. We’ll use the best imagery / photography we have for any given area, so if the DG data is better than what we have then we’ll us it.


  3. carniello says:

    Will you be using the entire DG archive for backfilling or just select subsets, ie can we expect to see DG data appearing everywhere around the world where it is available and you guys have nothing better?

  4. nutterguy says:

    A few quick questions for you…

    1: Can we expect better imagery for Ireland?

    2: Any hope of 3D buildings coming to Ireland?

    3: Are Virtual Earth 3D buildings created by hand or just by created automatically from birds eye oblique photos?

    4 : Finally is there any way to exclude search results from the US? Almost every time I search I have to stick Ireland (or what ever country I am searching) at the end of the search string otherwise I seem to receive only results from the US.

    (Also searching for Cork, Ireland works but not Cork City, Ireland)

    Thanks for your time Chris. 🙂

  5. Chris Pendleton says:

    Carniello – yes.

    Nutterguy –

    1. Yes.

    2. Someday, but the timeline is unclear (even for me).

    3. Automatically using Photogrammetry using our own Vexcel images in combonation with obliques.

    4. Funny you say this! We used to have the problem that people complained that they had to specify the data source and were willing to include "USA" or "Ireland" at the end of the query. You can do this in MapPoint Web Service by specifying the DataSourceName as MapPoint.EU, but not in VE.


  6. Eighth Continent Project says:

    As a founding sponsor of the 8th Continent Project, we’re really excited about all of DigitalGlobe’s success. This intersection of space-technology with smart business practice to create a high-dollar marketplace that didn’t exist before is a huge step for the privatized space industry. For similar news check out

  7. OursPolaire says:

    "We’ll finally be able to backfill areas around the world where people have come to my blog and complained about Virtual Earth not having good imagery or photos in their countries – Poland, Hungary, Russia, Taiwan, Mexico, to name a few" Hi all, don’t forget my country (Belgium) 😉 And my city "Namur"


  8. nutterguy says:

    Thanks very much for the reply. Much appreciated! 😀

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