Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced that it will begin to update the Virtual

Earth online mapping platform with new, more detailed U.S. imagery.

The software giant said Tuesday that it was teaming up with GlobeXplorer, a provider of aerial and satellite images to bring its databases up to date, with detailed and current images.

We share Microsoft's dedication to making available the most current and richly detailed images of the earth on the Web, said Paul Smith, chief operating officer of GlobeXplorer. This collaboration will help us extend the value of GlobeXplorer content to millions more businesses and individuals over the Windows Live network of services.

As part of the deal, more than 400,000 square miles of U.S. aerial imagery will be enhanced with high-resolution coverage.

Microsoft and GlobeXplorer plan to integrate the new imagery into Virtual Earth over the next several months.

Shares of Microsoft closed up 3 cents, or 0.10 percent to $29.96 and the Nasdaq exchange.