Google Maps is probably one of the more popular mapping applications available today. It is used on both the desktop and on mobile phones, where its convenience and voice navigation system could prove to be a cheaper (it’s free) alternative to other GPS apps that cost a lot more. However it looks like Google is planning on making their Maps application even better through a new acquisition of Skybox.
Skybox Imaging recently announced on their blog that they will be acquired by Google. According to the company, “We’ve built and launched the world’s smallest high-resolution imaging satellite, which collects beautiful and useful images and video every day. We have built an incredible team and empowered them to push the state-of-the-art in imaging to new heights. The time is right to join a company who can challenge us to think even bigger and bolder, and who can support us in accelerating our ambitious vision.”
For those who are hearing about Skybox for the first time, as they mentioned above, they are a company that captures high-res images via satellite, so based on that alone you would think that these satellite images would be used for Google’s services like Google Maps and Google Earth. In a statement Google released to Re/code, “Their satellites will help keep our maps accurate with up-to-date imagery.”
However as it turns out, Google has bigger plans for Skybox’s satellites. “The company added, ”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.” This seems to be in line with Google’s earlier satellite company purchase of Titan Aerospace, as well as rumors that Google has plans to invest as much as $1 billion into satellite technology. Skybox notes that the deal has yet to be officially closed pending regulatory approvals and whatnot.