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Google to acquire satellite eye-in-sky Skybox for $500m

Another tool to be added to Google's all-seeing arsenal

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google has entered into an agreement to acquire its Mountain View, California neighbor Skybox Imaging, a five-year-old satellite imagery and data-analysis startup.

"We're thrilled to announce that Skybox Imaging has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Google!" the company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

The deal will be worth $500m in cash, Google reports. "Skybox's satellites will help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery," they write. "Over time, we also hope that Skybox's team and technology will be able to help improve Internet access and disaster relief – areas Google has long been interested in."

And self-driving cars. "We're both willing to tackle problems head on – whether its building cars that drive themselves or designing our own satellites from scratch," Skybox writes about its new BFF.

Describing themselves, they say: "We build satellites, we write code, and we deploy data centers. But at heart Skybox is about unlocking the human story by approaching daily global activity as the world's largest data science problem."

Skybox currently has one satellite in orbit which will soon supplement the over 1,000 sources – including other satellite companies – from which Google now slurps data. But now Skybox has a partner – well, an owner, should regulatory hurdles be hurdled – with immensely deep pockets to help them keep an eye on all of us from above. ®

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