The competition heats up: For half a billion dollars Google has purchased satellite company Skybox Imaging.
Google plans to use Skybox’s satellites to make better maps with “up-to-date imagery,” the company said in a statement. “Over time, we also hope that Skybox’s team and technology will be able to help improve Internet access and disaster relief—areas Google has long been interested in.” Skybox has only a single satellite in orbit right now but plans to fly a fleet of them to cover the entire globe at all times. Constantly updated satellite images would be of interest to everyone from agricultural companies and hedge funds to hardware stores. A demonstration earlier this year showed how Skybox satellites could be used to monitor oil reserves from space.