GIS Thoughts

Visiting the Mothership – despite Microsoft !!

Apple HQ found !!

As I was in “the valley” today, on my way home from visiting Fujitsu in Sunnyvale I thought I would drop into the Apple campus in nearby Cupertino. I am please to confirm it still exisits despite Microsoft not having it on the imagery layer in MSN virtual earth. I have the t-shirt to prove it!

The imagery used by microsoft appears to come from the USGS, and if one wanted a concrete example of problems on “free” geodata this is it. The imagery although available at cost of duplication is over 15 years old! compare that to the commerical imagery used by Google and supplied by DigitalGlobe. – You pay your money (or not) and take the choice..

Written and submitted from the BA lounge, San Francisco Airport, using the t-mobile wifi network.

3 replies on “Visiting the Mothership – despite Microsoft !!”

While in the “Valley” you should have stopped by the Computer History Museum [], a utterly fascinating place not so far away from Apple headquarters. You could have seen some of the first Apples [] 😉 Google is just up the road (and yes, it exists too!)

I agree that free data is often worth the price (little or nothing and worse, possibly misleading). University GIS programs often depend on free government (in the US) so the student mindset develops around using free data even if out of date (especially demographic data). For business use, using 2000 population data is appropriate if planning for 1999, not 2006. Microsoft’s Virtual Earth probably uses the old Terraserver image data from the US Geological Survey. Once again, Google can be praised for using imagery that is of a more recent date. Thank you for your observation.

[…] The much admired data in Google Maps, MapPoint etc. comes from commercial vendors, which Google etc. have had to license, the base government supplied data does not meet their needs.. Remember the famous “Where is Apple” discussion last year, a result of government funded data used by Microsoft being so out of date it did not show the location of Apples’ offices in Cupertino ! […]

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