The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency tweaked on Wednesday its original announcement from last week to award a sole-source contract to Google for geospatial visualization services so outfits such as Microsoft can apply.
The NGA added language that said, "All responsible sources may submit a capability statement, proposal, or quotation which shall be considered by the agency."
That does leave a bit of room for competition compared to the original notice, which said, "Google is the only source that can meet the Government's requirement. . . . A request for solicitation will be considered as nonresponsive."
Although Microsoft says its Bing Map Server could do the job, in the amendment posted on Wednesday NGA went to great lengths to clarify that only Google Earth meets it requirements, which include "compatible capability across networks, global access, unlimited processing and software licenses, and access to the Google Earth hosted content through widely used Open Geospatial Consortium service interfaces."
NGA also pointed out it has made a "significant investment" in Google Earth technology, which runs on both secret and top secret networks. The agency added, "DoD and Intelligence Community have made additional investments to support client and application deployment and testing that use the existing Google Earth services provided by NGA."
Maybe Microsoft should concentrate on Mars.