Increasingly, State & Local Government agencies are recognizing the value of Virtual Earth and adopting it as their mapping platform of choice for internal line-of-business applications as well as constituent service web sites.*It just makes sense,*given the Virtual Earth visually appealing layers of 2D and 3D imagery, its extensive*map and point-of-interest database coupled with*search functionality that returns location information with curb-side geocoding accuracy, and the rapid dissemination and ease-of-use provided by the web service aspect of Virtual Earth.*Add to this that Microsoft makes available well-documented Application Program Interfaces (APIs) and development tools*that*allow organizations to rapidly and cost effectively leverage*all the features and functionality of Virtual Earth for applications that enhance*clarity and insight of organizational data, and improve communications and relations with constituents, and one can understand this traction Virtual Earth is gaining within*government agencies. More and more, this is including education.

Case in*point:*the Commonwealth of Virginia today announced a partnership with Microsoft to use Virtual Earth to augment public safety and security on its educational campuses. Here is the press release found on Government Technology.

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