New satellite images that will eventually show up in Google Earth and Google Maps are now arriving from the Google-sponsored GeoEye-1 satellite that launched a month ago. GeoEye has just released the stunning image below as a preview of what’s to come:
GeoEye says this image of Kutztown University, Pennsylvania, is the first image taken by GeoEye-1. It was collected on October 7, 2008, from 423 miles in space as their satellite moved down the eastern seaboard of the United States.
The Geo-Eye1 is described as the world’s highest-resolution commercial satellite. GeoEye spokesperson Mark Brender tells Wired.com that the satellite can take photos at a resolution of up to 41 centimeters — close enough to zoom in on the home plate of a baseball diamond. Due to federal law, though, Google will “only” get images that have a 50-centimeter resolution — meaning the imagery will capture details down to about 20 inches.
Google will be the only mapping provider offering such detailed images.
On the (unofficial) Google Earth Blog, Frank Taylor points out that Google’s agreement with GeoEye will replace a contract with DigitalGlobe for mapping imagery, and that Microsoft just announced this week that they’ll now be getting satellite images from DigitalGlobe.
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