As the “mapping wars” heat up Microsoft is introducing a huge new body of satellite imagery into Bing Maps. It’s not clear whether any of this will extend to mobile given the apparent substitution of Nokia Maps for Bing in Windows Phone 8.
The new imagery covers vast amounts of land on almost every continent. According to the Bing blog post, “The total area covered in this data release is nearly 38 million square kilometers.” The company says that this single update constitutes more data (165 terabytes) than all the previous releases combined (129 terabytes).
Bing also said that its global orthogonal (angled) imagery project was 85 percent complete and published. In addition Bing has 100 percent aerial coverage over the US. Europe will be completely covered and published by Q4 according to Microsoft.
Microsoft is giving some mixed signals on Bing Maps. The company appears to be making significant ongoing investments like the above even as it’s commingling its assets and dividing up labor with partner Nokia on the PC. However, in the case of mobile Bing Maps is being subordinated to Nokia Maps entirely.