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Google has its (Geo)Eye on you

August 30th, 2008 at 9:55 AM

Scoring a big win for its Google Maps and Google Earth online mapping program, Google has snagged exclusive rights to satellite imagery from the worlds highest resolution, commercial Earth-Imaging satellite. The new satellite will be able to distinguish objects on the Earth’s surface as small as 0.41-meters (16 inches) in size in B&W and 1.65 meters (5ft) in color. While the satellite will be able to collect imagery at 0.41-meters, the government requires re-sampling the imagery to half-meter resolution (why?). According to GeoEye’s press release, “the satellite will be able to see an object the size of home plate on a baseball diamond but also map the location of an object that size to within about nine feet (three meters) of its true location on the surface of the Earth without need for ground control points.” Sure hope none of you BGR readers are getting the morning paper in your skivvies when that satellite goes by! The new satellite, GeoEye-1, will be launched by GeoEye on September 4th 2008 at exactly 11:50:57 a.m. PDT (2:50:57 p.m. EDT).  A 12 story tall Delta II rocket emblazoned with Google’s image (what in the world will that look like?) will propel the satellite skyward in a launch that will be broadcast live from GeoEye’s website. After a month of calibration and testing, half meter resolution images from the satellite will be available for Google’s usage. Kudos to the first one who gets the BGR logo on these new Google Earth images!

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