As part of an initiative to leverage the OpenStreetMap project for its own Bing Maps, Microsoft has hired OSM founder Steve Coast, the company announced Tuesday."As a Principal Architect for Bing Mobile, Steve will help develop better mapping experiences for our customers and partners, and lead efforts to engage with OpenStreetMap and other open source and open data projects," stated a Microsoft blog announcement posted Tuesday.
Coast founded OpenStreetMap (OSM) in 2004 as a collaborative project to assemble a Web-based map of the world using free imagery. At last count, the project has gathered more than 327,000 contributors.
As part of the initiative, Microsoft is also donating a set of aerial imagery to OSM.