10. June 2014
So I have been hearing rumors for a few weeks now that Google is trying to close a deal to buy Skybox Imaging (TechCrunch, May 23, 2014) and from the Skybox blog it seems that this day has finally come (Skybox Imaging + Google). If you are not familiar with Skybox Imaging, they builds and launches cost efficient satellite that captures sub-meter 1080p HD resolution video (at 30 frames per second) for up to 90 seconds (link here for more information). Beside being a really cool use of imaging satellites (video here), this is a very strong acquisition by Google for a rumored $500mil., which has acquired 15 other companies this year (via New York Time, link), because it will allow them to gather their own imagery for their mapping products and this will help Skybox Imaging make their data more accessible to a larger audience. In the past if you wanted sub-meter resolution imagery you would have to purchase it for
GeoEye or DigitalGlobe, or consume it from another provider via a web service. So no matter where or how you obtained your imagery it was usually from the same source, but now this should be a game changing event and better and fresher imagery will make its way out for us, the Geospatial Community, to use. But only time will tell if Skybox being acquired by Google will be a good thing for the community.