Google Maps Gets A Boost

September 8, 2008 by
Filed under: DAILY Dose of PC News 

Google RocketGoogle continues its trek to world domination when it recently launched its own satellite rocket into space over the weekend. We’ve discussed Google’s new venture into the web browser market with Google Chrome, but many may not have heard that Google teamed with General Dymanics and Boeing to launch a new, high-resolution camera satellite into orbit so that Google Maps will have better pictures for all of us to use.

According to ARS Technica, “the new space-going hardware is a significant improvement over previous generations. Its camera drops the resolution of images down from a meter to half that figure—apparently, the hardware goes down to 0.41m, but the DoD won’t let that resolution onto the market. Images will go deeper into the blue end of the spectrum, and the camera can provide color images at a bit over a meter and a half resolution.”

So what will Google Maps be bringing to the table with this new high powered camera that’s into orbit? Well, we’re not too sure. ARS continues with, “it’s not at all clear what the imaging hardware’s extra resolution gets Google, other than sharper pictures and the possibility of filling a few specialized, niche needs.”

CNET stated yesterday that “the GeoEye-1 will zip around the Earth at about 4.5 miles per second, taking both color and black-and-white images from a distance of 423 miles. Its camera can distinguish objects on the ground as small as 16 inches in size, according to GeoEye. Because of U.S. licensing restrictions, Google’s resolutions won’t be quite that sharp.”

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