Microsoft updates Bing Maps with 215TB of high-resolution imagery

By on July 19, 2012, 1:00 PM

Microsoft has issued an update for Bing Maps that includes 215TB of high-resolution imagery covering the United States and key locations in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Tokyo. These new snapshots, aptly named Bird’s Eye, were captured at a 45 degree angle to provide increased detail of buildings and landmarks.

A post on the Bing Maps blog points out that photos in the new update cover over 230,000 square kilometers and consist of more than 1.1 million files. The service as a whole now spans a total of 1,388,593 square kilometers, good for 302TB of data.

Bird’s Eye maps are comprised of three different kinds of data. The first is native Bird’s Eye scenes containing photos captured at 45 degree angles. There’s also Bird’s Eye Oblique Mosaics which are a group of aerial photos that have been stitched together to form a seamless layer. The final type of data uses top-down photography that is projected onto a digital terrain or landscape at a 45 degree angle. This is used to showcase topological depth perception when traditional aerial photography isn’t feasible.

To break down the new update, 84,451 square kilometers is brand new Bird’s Eye Oblique Mosaic imagery while the remaining 145,553 square kilometers is refreshed Bird’s Eye, replacing old and potentially outdated imagery.

I checked out some of the new imagery while working on this article and I must say that I am impressed with the results. Many of the local attractions I am familiar with through Google Maps actually look better using Bing Maps. If you haven’t used Microsoft’s alternative yet, it’s certainly worth a try.

User Comments: 4

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Guest said:

Actually I've use Bing Maps for quite some time though recently I needed to find directions to two locations. In the first case, Bing couldn't find the address (fairly new construction) and Google at least found the street. In the second case, Bing offered directions that didn't seem like the best route, while Google gave 3 different route options (the 2nd being Bings option). Just viewing an area it might be nice with new pictures however if it can't help me get there then I'm not sure it's that good.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I've found that, now powered by Navteq, Bing Maps gives me more accurate results whenever I search for an address. Especially if the place I'm looking for has recently changed location.

Google Maps, however, still offers the best directions.

treeski treeski said:

Not that I use maps all that often, but I have been using Bing maps for the past couple years and I really haven't had any problems.

learninmypc learninmypc said:

If it don't have street view (& I can't find it) then I'll happily stick with Google maps & Google earth.

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