Uber buys mapping assets from Microsoft Bing

The assets include the cameras Microsoft used to collect mapping imagery data, a datacenter in Colorado, intellectual property and roughly 100 engineers.

Uber has acquired a series of mapping assets from Microsoft Bing as the alt-cab company works to build out its own mapping service.

The assets include the cameras Microsoft used to collect mapping imagery data, a datacenter in Colorado, intellectual property and roughly 100 engineers who have worked primarily on Bing maps and image collection. Techcrunch originally reported the deal, of which no financial terms were disclosed.

"Over the past year, we have taken many actions to focus the company's efforts around our core business strategy," Microsoft said in an emailed statement provided to ZDNet. "In keeping with these efforts, we will no longer collect mapping imagery ourselves, and instead will continue to partner with premium content and imagery providers for underlying data while concentrating our resources on the core user experience."

For Uber, the deal is not surprising. The unicorn startup has honed in on other mapping technologies in the past and has made no secret of its ambitions to move beyond being a mere on-demand car service.

In March, Uber bought California-based software mapping company deCarta in an effort to fine-tune its mapping technology. At the time, Uber said it planned to use deCarta to bolster its own products and services that rely on maps, such as UberPool and the way the company computes ETAs.

Just last month, Uber was rumored to have teamed up with Chinese web giant Baidu to bid for Nokia's Here mapping business for an estimated $3 billion. Baidu took a stake in Uber last year, prompting the ride-hailing service to begin using Baidu's mapping technology in China.

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