The United States Environmental Protection Agency has selected Microsoft’s Virtual Earth Platform for its geospatial mapping applications. The combination of diverse capabilities and imagery appears to be what appealed to the agency.
According to the release:
Previously, when the EPA sought to develop geospatial applications, the agency bought imagery from disparate sources to combine it with agency maps, often an intensely time-consuming and costly process. Virtual Earth provides not only three-dimensional city models and satellite and aerial imagery but bird’s-eye imagery, which gives users a unique 45-degree-angle perspective, a feature found only in Virtual Earth. Combined, these models and imagery allow agencies to build applications that layer business data directly over Virtual Earth imagery that is kept current by Microsoft Corp. For example, using Virtual Earth, the EPA is designing a Web-based mapping tool for anyone to access information on beach and water quality.
Google and Microsoft are doing battle on the mapping front over features and partners, which is great news for everybody else. Google, for its part, recently announced a partnership with NASA.
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