Microsoft Virtual Earth, OnStar Pair for 3D Maps

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Microsoft Virtual Earth, OnStar Pair for 3D Maps

by Nicholas Kolakowski

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Microsoft suggests that OnStar chose Virtual Earth as a platform partially because of its ability to integrate with specialized applications, such as OnStar's Automatic Crash Response and Emergency button presses.

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Microsoft Virtual Earth, which powers the company's Live Search Maps, uses satellites and aerial cameras to collect data used in its 3D view. Its main competitor is Google Maps, which uses satellite and on-the-ground data for applications of its own, such as Street View.

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The 3D imagery has the potential to allow OnStar to pinpoint vehicles that have run off the road and into some geographical feature such as a canyon.

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Built-in vehicle sensors can provide OnStar with real-time data about the type and severity of a car crash.

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Before relying on Microsoft Virtual Earth's 3D maps, OnStar utilized MapQuest for its location-system needs.

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