Imagine that you could be using GoogleMaps to watch your neighbor’s latest backyard construction in real-time with a resolution as close as seeing your hands close-up. With the new launch of Google’s partnership with Boeing to launch a new satellite, this might not happen but definitely the resolution of GoogleMaps and its zoom level might get much better than it is.
Of course, there might be more people suing Google for privacy issues but hey, at least we KNOW that North Korea will not be launching a nuclear weapon anytime soon with all the people in the world watching every details of it.
Google has taken the war over exclusive web content into space. Not directly, of course—the satellite that was recently launched into space on a rocket bearing the Google logo was the result of a joint venture between a commercial satellite imaging provider and the department of defense. In return for undisclosed terms, Google got two considerations: its logo on the side of the launch vehicle, and exclusive use of the mapping images that the satellite produces.
The partnerships in the new satellite are extensive. The hardware was built by General Dynamics and put in orbit by Boeing; the funding for the project came in part from a commercial satellite imaging company, Geoeye. The rest of the funding came from the Defense Department’s National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which provides map-based intelligence resources. The launch took place yesterday from the Air Force’s Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.