Feeds

Google buys CIA-backed mapping startup

Through the keyhole

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Google has acquired 3D mapping company Keyhole for an undisclosed sum, and announced that it's cutting the price of the consumer edition from $69.95 to $29.95. Keyhole's EarthViewer mapping service is a technical tour de force, making use of the 3D capabilities of modern PC graphics cards to do the heavy lifting, or rendering in this case. Earthviewer allows you to "fly" between specified points. EarthViewer came to widespread attention during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, when CNN, ABC and CBS used the imaging technology.

Last Febuary Keyhole received an investment from In-Q-Tel, the CIA's no-profit investment fund. EarthViewer isn't the only Google technology that's useful to the intelligence community, of course, there's Gmail, too.

Why would Google want Keyhole? Well, although the company wisely denies that it's becoming a portfolio, it does, like Yahoo! offer local information. However route planning and direction services, which are are a natural fit with local search, are missing. Google wouldn't disclose what it plans to do with the enterprise version of EarthViewer, but it adds another powerful tool to its armory. ®

Related stories

Google's Gmail: spook heaven?
Google passes on portal
Yahoo! acquires searchable email outfit
Sauce settlement sours Google results
Google finally fixes Desktop security vuln

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
True fact: 1 in 4 Brits are now TERRORISTS
YouGov poll reveals terrible truth about the enemy within
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?