Feeds

Google nabs aerial camera company

'We will photograph everything'

Security for virtualized datacentres

If you were getting worried that a full two weeks had passed without Google acquiring yet another company, you can now rest easy. Today, the lord of the acquisitions bagged ImageAmerica - a company that takes aerial photographs with its own airplanes and high-res cameras - as it looks to beef up imagery on its Google Earth and Google Maps services.

"We're excited about how ImageAmerica's technology will contribute to our mapping services down the road," wrote Steve Chou, a Google Earth and Maps product manager, on the company's Lat Long Blog. But he was quick to temper the excitement of Google users: "Since we're in the research and development phase right now, it may be some time before you see any of this imagery in Google Maps or Earth."

It turns out that ImageAmerica provided Google Earth with aerial images of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in August of 2005, but Google wouldn't tell us much more. All we know is that the acquired company specializes in this sort of "digital orthoimagery" and likes to tag its tools with ridiculous names. ImageAmerica's former web site, recently shutdown by Google, trumpets its Beech Starship aircraft and DDP-2 (Direct Digital Panoramic) photography system. Evidently, this flying gear can grab ground-level details measuring no more than six inches long.

When we asked Google to give us a bit more info about the equipment's capabilities, the company simply pointed to those Katrina photos. "Even though this imagery is in black and white, you can see the level of detail is significantly greater than the non-high res imagery traditionally available in Earth/Maps," said a company spokesperson.

Between Earth and Maps, Google seems intent on serving up tightly woven digital photos of just about everything. Its ImageAmerica purchase comes just a few days after an eagle-eyed Gizmodo reader spotted a new fleet of Chevy Cobalts that will soon be snapping 360-degree photos for Google StreetView, the company's eye-level window onto the world. Enjoy your privacy while you can.®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.