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Wednesday, 15 October 2008 09:40

Google Maps soon will look super-crisp with GeoEye-1 photos

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The GeoEye-1 satellite, launched in September, has just taken its first high-resolution photos and they're looking crystal clear in comparison with those we're used to so far with Google Maps.

On 06 September 2008 GeoEye, Inc. successfully launched and deployed its GeoEye-1, the world’s high Launch of GeoEye-1.est resolution, commercial Earth-imaging satellite.

Images from GeoEye-1 will be at 0.41 metre resolution in black and white and 1.65 metre in colour.

Even higher resolutions will follow with subsequent generations of GeoEye, but public use will be limited, apparently to 0.5 metre,  by US security restrictions.

As reported by Reuters, GeoEye said it had signed up Google and would provide high-resolution imagery from the new satellite.

Well, that time is getting close, because a week or so ago the GeoEye-1 took its first photo. Google's Super Satellite Captures First Image (Wired - 08 October 2008)

According to this report by Wired, this was of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, and you can see from this report that the image is extremely clear indeed.

You may be wondering how this might affect the clarity of Google Maps and Google Earth images when eventually the new high-resolutions images are put into use by Google.

Well, ReadWriteWeb has put out a before-and-after comparison, and it's immediately apparent from this that there will indeed be a very noticeable improvement. No More Squinting: Google Maps' First High-Res Satellite Images (ReadWriteWeb - 08 October 2008)

How long it will take, I wonder, for the new high-resolution images of suburban Australia to appear in Google Maps. Probably a couple of years, but who knows?

Still, I can't wait to see them!

 

 

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Tony Austin

Worked at IBM from 1970, for a quarter century, then founded Asia/Pacific Computer Services to provide IT consulting and software development services (closed company at end of 2013). These says am still involved with IT as an observer and commentator, as well as attempting to understand cosmology, quantum mechanics and whatever else will keep my mind active and fend off deterioration of my grey matter.

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