Satellite imaging firm Skybox Imaging has announced overnight that they have been purchased by Google.
Google has been a market leader in mapping, with Google Maps one of the best and most used services in the world. A large component of the Google Maps experience has always been the Satellite view and the purchase of Skybox Imaging will help to keep this imagery current. But Google, who confirmed the purchase on their investor relations site, stating that they paid $500 Million in cash for the company, sees more uses in the future, including helping with disaster relief and helping to improve Internet access.
It’s assumed that the statement that the purchase will help improve internet access, will of course not interrupt their current distributed internet access endeavour, Project Loon.
This purchase, ties into a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, which stated that Google was planning ‘to spend more than $1 billion on a fleet of satellites to extend Internet access to unwired regions of the globe’.
This will obviously be a long term project, but with Google investing in multiple avenues to provide internet access to remote areas, they are sure to find the best solution. The fruits of the Skybox Imaging purchase should be fairly apparent with updates to Google Maps satellite imagery going live soon, but for the internet access, we may have to wait a more extended period for more tangible results.
With Google purchasing a satellite imaging company, is now the time to don a tin-foil hat, or are we long past that point?