Google Acquires ImageAmerica

    July 23, 2007

Google has made yet another acquisition, and this one involves a company called ImageAmerica.  The move should, in effect, help Google Maps and Earth progress from “hey, I can see my house” to “hey, my roof is missing a shingle.”

Don’t expect to get that level of detail in the near future, however; Stephen Chau, a Google product manager, writes on the LatLong Blog, “We’re excited about how ImageAmerica’s technology will contribute to our mapping services down the road,” and then continues, “Since we’re in the research and development phase right now it may be some time before you see any of this imagery in Google Maps or Earth . . .”

So much for that avenue of exploration.  Another dead end appeared when I tried to visit ImageAmerica’s home page – there is currently little more than a one-sentence statement verifying the acquisition.  Luckily for us, Google Blogoscoped’s Philipp Lenssen hunted down an older version of the site.

According to it, “ImageAmerica is in the business of providing updated and new digital orthoimagery for use in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) . . . .  Our digital ortho technologies provide a unique combination of benefits including wide area coverage, high resolution, National Map Accuracy Standard (NMAS) accuracy, quick delivery and low cost.”

That all sounds pretty good, but there’s also mention of a Beech Starship aircraft, which, judging from its Wikipedia entry, isn’t much of a catch.

Nonetheless, this development may represent a big step forward for Google Maps and Earth.