Online cab aggregator Uber has made a multi-year partnership with DigitalGlobe, an American space imagery and geospatial content company, to get high resolution satellite imagery in order to “improve the experience for riders and drivers” globally. For this, Uber will use DigitalGlobe’s sensors to access imagery and location ‘intelligence’. DigitalGlobe also operates civilian remote sensing spacecraft. Uber says that this partnership will help it improve pick up and drop locations. An Atlantic report states that DigitalGlobe’s satellites can detect pixels 30 cms across to resolve street markings. Check out a detailed technical breakdown of Uber’s GPS engineering here. Uber’s previous mapping partnerships: - In March 2015, Uber bought deCarta, a mapping, navigation and local search to provide better arrival ETAs, carpooling routes and maps related enhancements. - Two months after this, Uber bought a part of Microsoft’s Bing Maps tech and absorbed some of its employees to provide further detailed map data. - In October 2015, Uber deployed its own vehicles for mapping in the US. It is unclear as to who can deploy mapping vehicles around the US other than registered mapping companies. - In November 2015, Uber struck a multi year deal with Dutch mapping company TomTom to provide maps and traffic data across 300 global cities to Uber. Google Maps Uber integration: In February 2015, Uber was integrated into Google Maps in India, after first being rolled out in the US in May 2014. Uber previously used Google Maps in its app, however, it could have other…
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