Happy New Year to all. If things have been a little quiet on the Virtual Earth for Government blog over the last couple of weeks it has been because I took advantage of the holidays to enjoy a little down time. New Year ... back at it!

I heard on NPR radio that the top selling Christmas gifts this season were GPS devices. People are increasingly becoming interested in being more location aware. It will be interesting to see what kind of GPS related applications find their way to the Virtual Earth platform in 2008. I was thinking about this last week as I drove up to the ski resort and passed some Bighorn Sheep on the side of the interstate enjoying the salt thrown on the shoulder of the road to melt ice. Many of the sheep were wearing radio collars. I wonder if the Division of Wildlife is plotting the movement of those guys on a Virtual Earth map. If not, they should be!

Meanwhile, the LiveSide.net news blog is suggesting that if you didn't get the digital camera you wanted for Christmas, then you might consider the Microsoft UltraCamX large format digital aerial camera. This is the camera that came with the Vexcel acquisition and that Microsoft partners use to capture the straight down high-resolution aerial views you see on our Virtual Earth-powered Live Search Maps site. Take a look at the blog entry and for additional information check out the camera web site.

One note about this blog entry ... the writer interprets from an announcement on the UltraCam web site that just three UltraCamX units have been sold in North America since the product was announced May 6, 2006. This is close to true ... the first three units sold in North America were sold to Keystone Aerial Surveys, the topic of the announcement posted on the site. Meanwhile, a fourth UCX sale and delivery in North America is about to be announced and a couple more are in the works. Additionally, it should be be noted that worldwide sales to date total 41.


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