It's a dream come true. After MapQuest and Yahoo actively supporting the Wikipedia-like map initiative OpenStreetMap.org. Microsoft announced that they hired OpenStreetMap's founder Steve Coast for their Bing Maps team. But there's more, they committed providing orthorectified aerial imagery and more to the project. From the official announcement: "Continuously innovating and improving our map data is a top priority and a massive undertaking at Bing. Thatâ(TM)s why weâ(TM)re excited to announce a new initiative to work with the OpenStreetMap project, a community of more than 320,000 people who have built high quality maps for every country on earth. Microsoft is providing access to our Bing Aerial Imagery for use in the OpenStreetMap project, and we have hired industry veteran Steve Coast to lead this effort. [...] As a first step in this engagement, we plan to enable access to Bing's global orthorectified aerial imagery, as a backdrop of OSM editors. Also, Microsoft is working on new tools to better enable contributions to OSM." Microsoft already added the OpenStreetMap layer to Bing Maps last August.
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