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Uber pairs with satellite imaging company for better location data

DigitalGlobe will be providing Uber with high-resolution satellite imagery for better data on pick-up locations.


In a bid to get an edge on the competition, Uber has partnered with a satellite imaging company to improve its maps. And not just any satellite imaging company, but DigitalGlobe, the company that provides much of the satellite imagery for Google Maps and Google Earth, as well as Apple's Terraserver.

Uber did not make an announcement, but DigitalGlobe revealed the partnership in a statement on its website.

"This imagery will help improve the Uber experience for riders and drivers around the world," wrote director of business development Kevin Bullock. "Specifically, Uber will leverage DigitalGlobe's industry leading constellation of sensors to access imagery and location intelligence to help identify and improve pick-up and drop-off locations."

Because DigitalGlobe refreshes its maps relatively frequently, the partnership should give access to information on road changes. Meanwhile, it seems like Uber is attempting to bring mapping in-house. Last year, it hired away Google Maps lead Manik Gupta, who is in-turn looking for more staff. And in June of last year, Uber bought a significant portion of Microsoft's mapping division, including employees.

Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.