Bing engages open maps community

Continuously innovating and improving our map data is a top priority and a massive undertaking at Bing. That’s why we’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 Principal Architect for Bing Mobile, Steve will help develop better mapping experiences for our customers and partners, and lead efforts to engage with OpenStreetMap and other open source and open data projects. 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.

Current OSM editing tools use imagery that is limited in the amount of resolution about the underlying geography (left, center). Bing’s global aerial imagery (right) 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.

Steve Coast is no stranger to the open community.  He founded OpenStreetMap, a wiki map of the world which anyone can help improve, similar to Wikipedia. Steve also co-founded CloudMade, a company that has supported OpenStreetMap from the early days and which provides an innovative mapping platform and tools which utilize OpenStreetMap. CloudMade is a good example of how the market can benefit from the work of the OpenStreetMap project, and Bing Maps is pleased to join them in the community effort to build better maps.

“We’re pleased to see Microsoft investing in the open map community, and we wish Steve all the best in his new role with Bing,” said Christian Petersen, VP Community, CloudMade.

We are looking forward to working with the OpenStreetMaps community to help deliver even better maps for people around the world.

Google Developer Day Sydney – James Macgill

Mapplets: Making Maps Mashups Discoverable Presented by James Macgill Thousands of Google Maps mashups have been created in the two years since we released the Google Maps API, but most of these sites are islands of information and few users know that they exist. We will discuss an approach to make these sites more discoverable by users around the world

Bing Maps Imagery Editor API for aerial images in OpenStreetMap

Last week when we announced our increased engagement with the open mapping community and the hiring of Steve Coast into Bing Maps, we mentioned that Bing Maps would be donating some of its imagery to OpenStreetMap (OSM) for their community to use. This imagery is now available through the Bing Maps Imagery Editor API. From Steve:

“Microsoft is pleased to announce the royalty-free use of the Bing Maps Imagery Editor API, allowing the Open Street Map community to use Bing Maps imagery via the API as a backdrop to your OSM map editors.

Bing Maps imagery must be used in accordance with the API Terms and Conditions [see PDF below] – although this is not legal binding advice, and you are encouraged to read the TOU itself, in sum the TOU says: you are only granted rights to use the aerial imagery, you must use the imagery as presented in the API, you cannot modify or edit the imagery, including the copyright and credit notices; you cannot create permanent, offline copies of the imagery, all of your updates to OSM arising out of the application must be shared with OSM, and the OSM map editor must be free to end users.”

To learn more and see the full terms of use, please see the Bing Maps Imagery Editor license.