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New orbital equipment to enhance quality of Google Maps


New orbital equipment to enhance quality of Google Maps

A satellite is set to be launched into the atmosphere that will be able to collate higher quality digital images, which could mean tools such as Google Maps have four times more detail than current versions.

US-based company DigitalGlobe is a world leader in selling satellite imagery, and this new launch will see the firm finally able to take photographs of a quality its specialists desire.

Up until June this year, the US government had legal restrictions in place, meaning that there was a limit on the detail of commercial satellite photography. This meant that DigitalGlobe was only permitted to capture images containing 50cm square of ground per pixel, but these restrictions have been relaxed and the company is free to go four times closer.

News providers believe that the satellite, Worldview-3, will use short-wave infrared sensors to capture images and will be able to process the snapshots regardless of atmospheric pollution or cloud cover.

Google will be amongst the names that could benefit from this move, with the company, whose search engine is a big focus for SEO companies, able to provide its users with more detailed mapping imagery and a higher quality service for its Maps tool.

It will be six months before these enhanced images will be made available for Google and others to purchase from DigitalGlobe.

In spite of this, the Californian tech giant has plans to collect its own orbital snaps in the future. It has already purchased Skybox Imaging, back in June, and has launched two of its own satellites in the hope of creating a fleet of 24.

Alan Littler

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