Google’s online maps are about to improve in detail and accuracy thanks to its $500 million purchase of Skybox Imaging.
Source: Skybox Imaging
Improved Online Mapping
With the ability to send satellites into earth’s orbit, Skybox will provide Google with the opportunity to generate another income stream by selling images for use in apps and license fees for data, as well as improving their own online mapping system.
Entire Planet 3 Times A Day
With 24 satellites due to be launched by 2018, Skybox will be able to image the entire planet 3 times a day, providing high resolution images that could provide important data for businesses, military and the general public.
One way that Skybox currently uses images their satellites capture is to help predict events. For example, Skybox monitors the area around Foxconn (a Taiwanese electronics manufacturing company) on a weekly basis, measuring the density of trucks in order to help them predict when the next iPhone will be released.
Another example is that of a financial analyst buying Skybox satellite images of Wal-Mart car parks in an effort to determine the company’s sales results before the official earnings announcements.
On A Larger Scale
Other ways the imagery could be used is to determine the health of global grain crops, the amount of oil being produced in any given area, water levels, security, the list goes on and on. The fact that all imagery is updated so regularly makes it a very powerful tool.
It is almost certain that Google’s new acquisition will be used by businesses wanting to gain an advantage on their competitors by using it as a sort of spying tool. Unfortunately this may mean the beginning of a new level of privacy invasion for the general public, as the more powerful imagery resolution would allow more details to be seen.
From a surveying perspective, having access to such high resolution imagery of the planet that is updated so often can only be a positive for our clients. Please contact us.Back to newsBack to news