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Apple's giant data center pops up on Google, Bing

The company's huge new data center in North Carolina has appeared on satellite imagery, providing a glimpse at what could end up being a pivotal piece of Apple's iCloud puzzle.

Apple's new data center in Maiden, N.C. as seen from the sky.
Apple's new data center in Maiden, N.C. as seen from the sky.
Google Maps

Apple's 500,000-square-foot behemoth of a data center in Maiden, N.C., is now ready to have eyes laid on it. Satellite eyes that is.

As picked up by Fortune this morning, Apple's data center--which the company said would go live in the spring--now appears in Google Maps (map), having previously shown up as a large patch of empty land. Of course all the exciting bits are inside, including what has been estimatedto be capacity for 95,000 to 120,000 servers.

While the satellite imagery has been updated, Google's Street View has not. Entering into Street View on the road just outside the facility yields a nice view of a large, open field.

Microsoft's Bing Maps also has satellite imagery (map), which has more cars in the parking lot, but appears to have been taken earlier than Google's based on the progress of nearby construction:

The same data center seen through Microsoft's Bing Maps.
The same data center seen through Microsoft's Bing Maps. Microsoft

Along with its existing facility in Newark, Calif., Apple reportedlysigned a seven-year lease with DuPont Fabros Technology earlier this year for approximately 11,000 square feet of data center space in DuPont Fabros' Santa Clara, Calif., facilities. That data center would reportedly go live later this year.

Apple said yesterday that it will be taking the wraps off iCloud at its Worldwide Developers Conference, which kicks off next week. So far it's only been described as a "cloud services offering," though signs have hinted that it will be anything from a digital storage locker to a subscription service for music and movies. Apple's data center efforts are expected to be tied closely to that effort, along with the company's advertising and voice services.

Updated at 1:18 p.m. to correct time differences between the Google and Bing images.