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Google Earth Adds High-Resolution Images

Search company can now provide hi-res images of 20% of the planet's surface

Thomas Claburn

June 19, 2006

1 Min Read

In keeping with the company's global ambitions, Google Earth is getting bigger.

At Google's first Geo Developer Day last week, the company said it can now provide high-resolution satellite imagery of 20% of the Earth's surface, four times what it offered before.

Google Maps for Enterprise made its debut, too. The fee-based service for businesses aims to embed Google Maps in internal and external Web sites. Pricing starts at $10,000.

The devil is in the details, and it's not immediately clear whether the new hi-res imagery will draw the ire of the governments that share the planet with Google. Many have complained about Google's ability to show pictures of their secrets--even as they use Google to track lawbreakers.

Google addressed these concerns in a statement: "Google has engaged ... in substantive dialogue with the relevant agencies of the U.S. government and with recognized security experts. To date, none of these authorities has raised security concerns about Google Earth images."

If governments have a complaint, it's with the companies that supply the images, Google said. That should make them feel better.

About the Author(s)

Thomas Claburn

Editor at Large, Enterprise Mobility

Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful master's degree in film production. He wrote the original treatment for 3DO's Killing Time, a short story that appeared in On Spec, and the screenplay for an independent film called The Hanged Man, which he would later direct. He's the author of a science fiction novel, Reflecting Fires, and a sadly neglected blog, Lot 49. His iPhone game, Blocfall, is available through the iTunes App Store. His wife is a talented jazz singer; he does not sing, which is for the best.

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