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The Microsoft Bing team has responded to this week’s catastrophic event in Haiti by working with satellite imagery provider, DigitalGlobe, to rapidly publish current imagery of Haiti captured by the company’s Quickbird and WordView II satellite sensors. The imagery collected by the satellites is respectively 60 and 50 cm accurate and covers much of Haiti but centers around Port-Au-Prince just 10-16 kilometers from the earthquake’s epicenter and where the damage is extensive. The Bing Imagery Technologies team in Boulder, Colorado that is responsible for acquisition, processing and publishing of the imagery found in the Bing maps site, published this data in less than 16 hours from the time of receipt. Processing includes “cleaning up” the raw imagery collected by the satellites to ensure nadir projection and proper registration with the Bing maps image mosaic, as well as “slicing” into tiles to more efficiently serve up the data. Microsoft’s aim is that the imagery will help people across the world better understand the location and extent of the catastrophe and that it might perhaps prove useful to those coordinating relief efforts.
You can see the imagery here on our Bing maps site or on our new beta site here (requires you to download Silverlight but very much worth it.)
Meanwhile, Microsoft joined organizations across the world in supporting relief efforts through an initial contribution of $125 million through non-profit partner, NetHope, and with a focus on establishing temporary telecommunications structure to allow communciations between humanitarian organizations working to provide relief to victims. More information on this and how you can assist can be found on the Microsoft Corporate Citzenship site.
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