New satellite to give Google Maps unprecedented resolution

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.

Then the article goes into some detail, but here’s some other interesting stuff.

As a comparison provided by Geoeye reveals, the new space-going hardware is a significant improvement over previous generations. Its camera drops the resolution of images down from a meter to half that figure—apparently, the hardware goes down to 0.41m, but the DoD won’t let that resolution onto the market. Images will go deeper into the blue end of the spectrum, and the camera can provide color images at a bit over a meter and a half resolution.

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