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OSM founder joins Microsoft

US: Steve Coast, founder of OpenStreetMap (OSM) has been hired by Microsoft, confirmed Coast in his blog. “It doesn’t mean Microsoft ‘owns’ OpenStreetMap,” Coast explained. “OSM continues to be independent as it always will be, and I will continue in my roles to push the OSM cause forward.”

Bing Maps is a geospatial mapping platform owned by Microsoft. As a Principal Architect for Bing Mobile, Coast will help develop better mapping experiences for its customers and partners and lead efforts to engage with OSM and other open source and open data projects, according to Bing Maps.

As a first step in this engagement, Bing plans to enable access to its global orthorectified aerial imagery, as a backdrop of OSM editors. Also, Microsoft is working on new tools to better enable contributions to OSM.

Current OSM editing tools use imagery that is limited in the amount of resolution about the underlying geography. Bing’s global aerial imagery will enable the OSM community to have access to an unprecedented set of high-quality data, which will enable them to engage in better mapping tasks, said the company.

Source: Bing Maps Blog & Steve Coast Blog