Bing Embraces OpenStreetMap, Hires Founder

Microsoft announced that it has hired CloudeMade and OpenStreetMap (OSM) founder Steve Coast as “Principal Architect for Bing Mobile,” as well as a kind of liason to the “open map community.” According to data in the Bing post announcing Coast’s hiring, there are “more than 320,000 people” who have participated or are participating in the OpenStreetMap project.

As part of this new effort, Microsoft is providing Bing Aerial Imagery to OpenStreetMap.

Microsoft says that Steve Coast “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.”

I also assume at some point that Microsoft will incorporate data from OSM into Bing maps.

Mapquest has also embraced OpenStreetMap in big way, donating money and developing a parallel set of sites on top of OSM data in the US and Europe.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Microsoft: Bing | Microsoft: Bing Maps & Local | Microsoft: Bing Mobile | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • Nick Aubert

    Embrace. That’s phase one of three, right?

  • Nate Lawrence

    I recall hearing Blaise Agüera y Arcas (then Architect of Virtual Earth|Bing Maps and now architect of the mapping and mobile unit of Microsoft Online Services Division) say, back in May of 2009,

    “One of the big thrusts that I’ve really been pushing in the past six months is to take the kind of openness that we started with in Photosynth and extend the openness a great deal so that we make much richer use of and give much more contribution to open sources like OpenStreetMap and really let many more players in and out of that ecosystem – turn it into much more of an ecosystem and less of a closed product.” ( ~ 45:00)

    , so it’s really good to see this all starting to come to fruition. Who better to push for progress in this area than the founder of OpenStreetMap himself? Blaise’s tweet this morning was definitely to that effect:!/blaiseaguera/status/7147830493843456

    As mentioned above, the story really isn’t complete until you can access the OpenStreetMap layer in Bing Maps ( ) from both Silverlight and AJAX versions of Bing Maps as well as query OSM data from Bing Maps (and ideally contribute back to OSM via BM).

    I love the fact that Photosynth gives anyone with a Windows PC and an internet connection, the ability to circle any object with photos, pop them into the synther, and upload a 3D point cloud and all the full resolution photos arranged in 3D on Bing Maps to be viewed by anyone in the world in just a matter of the time it takes to shoot and upload the photos. Combining that power with OSM’s editing power for vector data will be an amazing combination in the coming years. No Photosynth to OSM connectivity has been specifically announced yet, but there is an amazing amount of Creative Commons licenced photography available on Photosynth.

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