WASHINGTON, June 24, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that Microsoft® TerraServer, the world’s largest database on the Web, is available now at http://www.terraserver.microsoft.com/ . The site contains more than a trillion bytes of compressed aerial and satellite Earth photos that constitute the world’s largest and most detailed atlas. Microsoft TerraServer is expected to benefit consumers, academics and government and corporate users by enabling them to view and download geographic photos with unprecedented clarity and detail.
Microsoft TerraServer, running on a prerelease version of Microsoft SQL Server
™version 7.0 Enterprise Edition, demonstrates the tremendous scalability of Microsoft SQL Server and the Microsoft Windows NT® Server operating system Enterprise Edition. The site also demonstrates how customers can combine numeric, text and image data in the same database, and deliver all of this information seamlessly over the Web.
Microsoft created the site with Compaq Computer Corp., the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Aerial Images Inc., the provider of SPIN-2 high-resolution satellite and digital imagery. SPIN-2 data is imagery acquired from SOVINFORMSPUTNIK, a branch of the Russian Space Agency. Microsoft unveiled the site here today as part of Federal Enterprise Day, an event co-hosted by Microsoft and Compaq for government agencies building or augmenting their computer networks.
“With Microsoft TerraServer, we’re giving ‘Information at Your Fingertips’ an entirely new, worldwide dimension by providing unique and interesting information to everyone, everywhere,”
said Jim Gray, senior researcher at Microsoft’s Bay Area Research Center in San Francisco.
“In addition to showing off the extraordinary abilities of Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Enterprise Edition to support massive, highly scalable databases on the Web, Microsoft TerraServer is a great example of collaboration with other companies and organizations to pioneer cutting-edge technologies for an application that never existed before.”
The new site combines USGS photos of more than 30 percent of the United States with SPIN-2 satellite imagery of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. The highly detailed images allow users to zoom in as close as 1.0 meter resolution, which allows them to identify buildings and cars (but not people).
With 5 terabytes of uncompressed image data, Microsoft TerraServer is bigger than all the HTML pages combined already on the Internet. If printed in a paper atlas with 500 pages per volume, it would span 2,000 volumes. And with new information continually coming online from USGS and SPIN-2, Microsoft TerraServer is expected to double in size over the next year.
The TerraServer images are available for viewing free of charge. In addition, SPIN-2 and the USGS are making the images available as high-quality prints and digital files for a modest fee. Using Microsoft Site Server 3.0 Commerce Edition, Aerial Images and the USGS accept credit card orders efficiently and securely over the Internet. (See accompanying Aerial Images and USGS press releases.) Microsoft derives no income from this service. The Microsoft TerraServer database is expected to be of interest to consumers as well as users in real estate, construction, urban and regional planning, education, environmental services, public safety and government.
Beyond demonstrating the scalability of Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise Edition and Microsoft Windows NT Server Enterprise Edition, TerraServer also demonstrates the scalability of Compaq’s AlphaServer and StorageWorks hardware. The system runs on a Compaq Alpha Server 8400 system with eight 440 MHz Compaq Alpha processors and 324 StorageWorks disks. (See accompanying Compaq press release.)
“We’re delighted that when Microsoft sought hardware support for the world’s largest online database, it turned to AlphaServer and StorageWorks solutions,”
said Gerard van de Aast, vice president of Digital’s Global Alliances.
“The combination of Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 Enterprise Edition, Windows NT Server Enterprise Edition, AlphaServer and StorageWorks is an unprecedented powerhouse that delivers all the scalability a corporate or government provider could want, with seamless access to the Internet and unbeatable price performance.”
Microsoft SQL Server 7.0, due to be publicly available later this year, makes the TerraServer possible because it provides support for massive, scalable databases and for hosting those databases on the Web. The advanced technology in Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 supports 1-terabyte plus databases with faster backup, multisite update replication, distributed query and very large database (VLDB) enhancements.
Developed by a world-class development team, Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 is the leading Windows® operating system-compatible database, bringing business advantage and improved decision-making to all levels of the organization through the power of data warehousing, industry solutions and interoperability with Microsoft Office. Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 enables independent software vendors and customers to build and deploy scalable database solutions for
e-commerce, line of business, mobile computing and data warehousing. Microsoft SQL Server is a member of the Microsoft BackOffice® family, a set of servers that makes it easy to build, manage and deploy powerful business solutions.
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