EPA agrees to use Microsoft Virtual Earth mapping platform

By on September 14, 2007, 6:06 PM
Microsoft beat out Google to provide its digital mapping technology for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. According to Microsoft, EPA will use Virtual Earth mapping technology to improve data sharing, analysis and insight for partner agencies, citizens and nongovernmental organizations on topics ranging from water and air quality to disaster relief.

"We wanted to get our feet wet with the technology, without spending a fortune," Pat Garvey, a technology manager for the EPA, said in an interview. "The Google offering didn't seem to be as sharp, and Microsoft offered us unlimited use for one year."
EPA officials also said they selected Virtual Earth over Google Earth in part because Virtual Earth offers a unique, 45-degree viewing angle on its maps. The agreement is a win for Microsoft, which is battling Google to attract more users to use its digital maps product.

User Comments: 4

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Mstfyd said:
It's more than likely that there is something I don't understand about this, but Microsoft Virtual Earth isn't real time, or even remotely real time. I've used it and found full summer foliage during a view of of our block in February. Can you catch polluters by monitoring the past? While you might be able to catch the action, the resolution isn't nearly clear enough to capture the individuals involved. It might be useful for a long term comparison of an area, but not current enough for enforcement.
yakwhacker said:
It's strange that the inclusion of a button for the 45-degree angle is enough to sell the EPA. Google Earth rotates to any angle you'd like to view it at exactly the same.
Julio said:
Microsoft's mapping product is a joke compared to Google's in terms of zooming and detail on less popular areas both within the US and internationally. In the other hand I think MS has the advantage with Virtual Earth on a few select locations, mostly major cities like New Work, Las Vegas, etc.If there's something I would like to see more is further updates on imaging maps. Google recently added street detail in many South American countries but satellite images can be as old as 4 years or more...[url]http://www.techspot.com/espanol/noticias/27044-g
miyu said:
Most of the publicly accessible web mapping sites cannot have real-time satellite maps because of security reasons.
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