A Year of Google’s Big Eye in the Sky

    September 14, 2009
    Chris Crum

A little over a year ago, the GeoEye-1 was launched. This is a satellite from the company Geo-Eye, which entered a deal with Google to provide it with imagery for Google Maps and Google Earth.

The satellite’s camera was said to be capable of achieving .41 meters resolution in black and white and 1.65 meters in color. A couple months after the launch, the first photos were released, and they were quite impressive. That was last October, and ReadWriteWeb did a side-by-side comparison between the first GeoEye photo and the then-current Google Maps imagery of the same area:

Read Write Web's Side-by-side comparison

GeoEye announced the one-year anniversary of the GeoEye-1’s launch today. "The past year has been an exciting and rewarding one for GeoEye," said Bill Schuster, GeoEye’s Chief Operating Officer. "With the launch of GeoEye-1 last September, we put into service the world’s most advanced commercial imagery satellite, which is delivering the highest resolution, most accurate color satellite imagery available today."

Since its launch, GeoEye-1 has:

– imaged every continent in the world

– chronicled several noteworthy events like President Obama’s inauguration ceremony and a North Korean missile facility just moments before the launch of a long-range missile

– collected approximately 54 million square kilometers of imagery

– taken over 200,000 images since its launch.

GeoEye says the GeoEye 2 is in the works. The company has contracted with ITT Corporation to build the next high-resolution camera and electronics. They’re looking for commercial operations with that to get underway in 2013. No word on whether that will continue to inolve Google, or other map-providing search engines.