US: The US leg of Bing Maps Global Ortho (GO) project has been completed. The project provides a new standard for aerial map imagery. Data on every square inch of the continental United States at a 30cm resolution (in which one foot equals one pixel) was collected with Microsoft”s UltraCam aerial camera. The GO program provides views of familiar places like your home, office, and school, as well as more remote corners of the US.
“This project has given us imagery that is brilliant, accurate, and fresh, and the completion of the US is a huge achievement,” Bing Maps team leader Charlie Peterson wrote in a blog post.
“Now more than ever, we have the ability to deliver a consistent quality experience to all our consumers and enterprise customers,” he said.
The team stressed the scope of what it had accomplished, estimating that it might have taken the USGS”s National Agriculture Imagery Program a whopping 42 years to compile the same amount of imagery as GO project has done in a fraction of that time.
Peterson said that if you lined up every pixel used in the GO project, that string would wrap around the earth 994 times, to the moon 104 times, and all the way to Venus, with about seven trillion pixels to spare.
Bing was restricted from collecting photos in Area 51 and the Vandenberg Air Force Base, but the camera crew scoured the rest of the country, and captured “some astonishing imagery,” Peterson said, including Cape Canaveral, where the Global Ortho aircraft captured NASA”s space shuttle Atlantis before its final flight.