Virtual Earth and ArcGIS

Microsoft Corp. has announced that its Virtual Earth program is being integrated into ESRI's ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Server programs. The result will be one-click access for ArcGIS users to add Virtual Earth base, maps, aerial views and other features to ArcGIS maps.

The ArcGIS Online Virtual Earth map services will include high-resolution street maps, imagery and hybrid maps. Street map coverage is available for more than 60 countries and regions, including North and South America, Europe, the Asia Pacific region and Northern Africa. Aerial and satellite imagery includes worldwide coverage but varies by region.

The service will be available with the release of ArcGIS Server 9.3 next week.

'With the new ArcGIS Online Virtual Earth map services, ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Explorer users will have nearly instant access to some of the world's finest base map layers,' said S.J. Camarata, director of corporate strategies at ESRI. 'Through this collaboration with Microsoft, street maps, vertical imagery, and hybrid maps will be available on an affordable, annual subscription fee basis.'

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Patrick Marshall is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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