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Bing Maps updated with high-resolution imagery

In a bid to keep up with its arch mapping rival, Microsoft is taking on Google Maps in the high-resolution space with a 215 terabyte update of Bird's Eye imagery.

High-resolution imagery in Manhattan Bing Maps; Screenshot by Zack Whittaker/CNET

Microsoft has piled on another 215 terabytes of high-resolution imagery to Bing Maps, less than a month after it dished out a massive 165 terabyte cache of mapping data to the service.

Users will see updated high-resolution content across the U.S., and areas of Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Tokyo when viewing through the "Bird's Eye" looking-glass.

Bird's Eye imagery is collected at a 45-degree angle from low-flying aircraft, not from satellites, and offers greater depth and higher-resolution imagery of cities and major landmarks. Such imagery is available in most regions around the world, but focuses on the U.S., Canada and major European cities, such as London and Paris.

In total, Microsoft said the new imagery consists of 230,000 square kilometers and consists of more than 1.1 million additional files uploaded to Bing's servers.

Mapping is still a hotly contested area. While Bing maintains its focus on Bird's Eye imagery, Google continues to take pictures at street-level for its Street View service, despite a handful of privacy-related controversies.

Meanwhile Apple announced at its WWDC 2012 developer conference in June that it will bump Google from the iOS 6 lineup in favor of its own in-house Maps application, featuring 3D imagery provided by C3 Technology, which the company acquired in October.