What's New

New Web Site Name (January 30, 2010)

We have changed our web site name from TerraServer-USA to MSR Maps. Our new web address is http://MSRMaps.com! Please update your bookmarks and web pages that reference TerraServer-USA.com. For the next 90 days, we will automatically display a redirect page that explains the name change. After the 90 days, we will automatically redirect any request to TerraServer-USA to MSRMaps.com.

There has been confusion over the years between our site, TerraServer-USA.com, and TerraServer.com. We hope by changing our name to MSRMaps.com will put an end to that confusion.

MSR Maps project is a collaboration between Microsoft Research, Bing Maps, and the US Geological Survey. MSR Maps has been under continuous operation since June 1998. It is the predecessor of many web sites that present high-resolution imagery of the earth. We continue to operate MSR Maps because it continues to attract 30k to 50k visitors today. All new imagery investments and new mapping technologies are applied to Microsoft's Bing Maps web site. We encourage you to visit Bing Maps for current detailed views of the United States and around the world.

OpenGIS Web Map Server Update (July 30, 2005)

The Microsoft Research Maps web site was updated on Saturday July 30, 2005. The Open GIS compliant Web Map Server has been re-written to greatly improve its performance. In addition, a long-standing bug has been corrected. The previous implementation could not produce a map that had higher resolution than the underlying data within a Microsoft Research Maps theme. For example, the USGS DOQ data's native resolution is 1.0 meter GSD. If you attempted to create a web map that requested a GSD less than 1.0, the Microsoft Research Maps OGC WMS would return an error and no map. The new implementation correctly handles this case and maps can now be produced that have higher resolution than the imagery theme's native resolution.

Please let us know if you see any errors or new bugs introduced with this release by e-mailing MSRMaps2010@hotmail.com.

Go to the beginning of this page

MSN Virtual Earth Beta released (July 25, 2005)

MSN Virtual Earth beta is here! MSN Virtual Earth is a new Microsoft geo-spatial web site that integrates MSN Search, MapPoint Maps and Directions, and Microsoft Microsoft Research Maps into a single application. When panning and searching within Virtual Earth, you can choose to see (1) road map only, (2) aerial image only, or (3) road map overlaid over aerial imagery. (The road map overlaid over aerial imagery is our favorite.)

The Virtual Earth beta release contains the USGS Urban Area and Digital Ortho-Quadrangle (DOQ) data merged into one seamless data-set across the conterminous United States (lower 48 states). In Virtual Earth there is no need to "click a tab" to switch been Urban Areas and Aerial Photo views. As you explore the aerial imagery, Virtual Earth displays the natural color Urban Area data if it is present. If not present, then Virtual Earth displays the black and white Digital Ortho-Quadrangle data instead. And when necessary, Virtual Earth creates new tiles with pixels from both Urban Area and DOQ data merged together. The pixel merging between Urban Areas and DOQ imagery is not quite perfected yet. You will see instances where black edges (typically found on the edge of some Urban Area source imagery) ended up being included in the merged Urban Areas and DOQ tile.

On the Microsoft Research Maps web pages, you will see the MSN Butterfly at the top of every web page. This will open a new web browser window and display the MSN Virtual Earth home page. If you have ever used MSN Virtual Earth before, the MSN Butterfly link will take you to the last location you were viewing on MSN Virtual Earth.

When you are viewing imagery on the Microsoft Research Maps, you will notice the link "Virtual Earth" appear above the right hand side of the image (next to the Order Photo or Order Map link). You can click on this Virtual Earth link to open a new web browser page and view the location in Virtual Earth. This window will be separate from the MSN Virtual Earth home page window.

Be sure to tell the MSN Virtual Earth team what you think! Microsoft Research Maps is part of Virtual Earth. Tell the Virtual Earth about the features you like in Microsoft Research Maps that are missing in MSN Virtual Earth. Now is the time to tell us what you really need and want in the Virtual Earth product!

Go to the beginning of this page

MSN Local Search displays Microsoft Research Maps imagery (June 30, 2005)

MSN Search rolled a beta version of Local Search on the MSN web site. Local Search will display a MapPoint Map or a Microsoft Research Maps (Aerial View) next to the local area search results. For example, you can search for "Pizza" in "San Francisco" to get a listing of pizzerias near downtown San Francisco. The pizzerias will also be displayed with push-pins on the Map and Aerial image.

Go to the beginning of this page

Microsoft Research Maps Transferred to Microsoft MapPoint group (May 1, 2005)

The Microsoft MapPoint group has taken over the responsibility of maintaining and operating the Microsoft Research Maps web site from Microsoft Research as of May 1, 2005. The MapPoint Team is committed to continuing to host and maintain the Microsoft Research Maps data and web applications. The Microsoft Research Maps web service and OpenGIS compliant Web Map Server will continue to be available as a free service indefinitely. Microsoft Research Maps will also continue to host NASA data-sets used by NASA World Wind, support the NASA World Wind 3D viewer, and any other web service client applications written to use the Microsoft Research Maps web service and public domain USGS data.

It is expected that the Microsoft Research Maps HTML end user interface will eventually be replaced by the MSN Virtual Earth end user interface. However, the Microsoft Research Maps HTML interface will continue to be supported until the MSN Virtual Earth reaches functional parity with the Microsoft Research Maps user interface. But be sure to tell the MSN Virtual Earth team what you like about MSN Virtual Earth and what you think is missing. It is a beta product and the team is looking for constructive feedback!

Go to the beginning of this page

Microsoft Research Maps supports NASA World Wind

Have you ever wanted to view Microsoft Research Maps imagery in 3D? Well now you can. The E-Learning group at NASA/Ames Research Center in Mountain View, CA has built a interactive 3D viewer for Microsoft Research Maps imagery and other NASA data-sets like LandSat-7. The NASA World Wind application is available at http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/. NASA World Wind is Windows Forms application that is downloaded and installed on your computer. There is no charge for using the program or accessing the data. Check it out! Seeing your neighborhood as if you were flying by in airplane is not to be missed!

Go to the beginning of this page

The Microsoft Research Maps team welcomes your comments. You can write us at MSRMaps2010@hotmail.com.


About Index Microsoft Research Maps Home Page What's New Archives