Print 23 comment(s) - last by iVTec.. on Sep 5 at 8:47 AM

GeoEye-1 Satellite  (Source: GeoEye Inc.)
Google will be exclusive online map service to use images from new satellite

Satellite imagery is used for many different reasons today from mapping and fun to military analysis and more. As more satellites are launched and new technologies are released, satellite imagery is getting better with each new satellite put into orbit.

GeoEye Inc. is getting ready to launch a new satellite that will be able to take images form orbit with a resolution of 0.41 meters in black and white and 1.65 meters in color. Current government regulations limit images being offered to the public to a resolution of a half-meter. The color resolution the satellite will offer is the highest in the market.

The resolution limitation is partly because the U.S. government fears the amount of information that can be found in satellite images on services like Google Earth.

Google will be the exclusive online map website to use the images taken by the GeoEye-1 satellite. The launch of the satellite was postponed in April and has been rescheduled for September 4. The total cost to build GeoEye-1 was $502 million according to Reuters. The satellite will be launched into orbit onboard a Delta II rocket.

GeoEye's Mark Brender says that while the Google logo will be on the side of the rocket and Google will be the exclusive user of the images in the online space taken with the satellite, Google has no financial involvement in the satellite.

Google says that it will have half-meter resolution images from the GeoEye-1 satellite 45 to 60 days after launch. Google's Kate Hurowitz told Reuters, "The combination of GeoEye's high-resolution, map-accurate satellite imagery from GeoEye-1 and Google's search and display capabilities provides users with access to rich, interactive visual image maps of the Earth."

Google also gets satellite imagery from another GeoEye satellite called IKONOS and from GeoEye rival Digital Globe.

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RE: Not quite true
By foolsgambit11 on 9/2/2008 2:29:31 PM , Rating: 2
I think current laws don't even make the 24 hour rule a blanket prohibition. They just say that the government has the right to establish limiting parameters for a commercial satellite operator based on National Security requirements. In other words, the exact requirements could vary from satellite to satellite. But current practice places the limit at 0.5m.

And aren't all U.S. satellite operators prohibited from distributing even 1 meter imagery of Israel, or did that get repealed?

RE: Not quite true
By Shadowself on 9/2/2008 3:09:50 PM , Rating: 2
Laws, regulations and rules are three different things. The 24 hour period is not in any law.

The rules are effectively agreements written into operating licenses. Remember these satellite operators need to get licensed by two separate agencies: the FCC and NOAA. The NOAA license gets reviewed every year. Play by the rules agreed to in your license or risk getting the license killed every year. The details of the licenses are held *very* closely whether it pertains to the 24 hours for sub 0.5 meter imagery or anything to do with Israel -- or for that matter how to deal with the international agreement that an operator must sell to any government imagery taken within their territory. You can imagine how the various governments might not want that to be handled too quickly.

RE: Not quite true
By RMSe17 on 9/2/2008 5:56:11 PM , Rating: 4
All we need is an imaging program from a company that is based in another country, such as Russia. They probably will not have such silly limitations on areas of the world such as USA.

RE: Not quite true
By iVTec on 9/5/2008 8:47:57 AM , Rating: 2
And then we won't be able to see Russia at all :P

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