Google acquires Skybox Imaging for $500 million

Google acquires Skybox Imaging for $500 million

In a noteworthy announcement made last week, Internet search biggie Google revealed that it has acquired Skybox Imaging - a startup which captures high-resolution images and video of the Earth by using small satellites - in a $500 million deal.

Google - which forayed into the terrestrial realm with the launch of its Google Maps and Google Earth products in 2005 - had, some time back, acquired the Titan Aerospacestartup, which focuses on high-altitude solar powered drones.

With regard to its recent acquisition of Mountain View, California-based Skybox Imaging, Google said that, in the short term, it plans to use Skybox's images for bringing about an improvement in Google Maps. Already, a patent published in May this year indicated that Google intends building super-accurate maps directly from satellite imagery.

Noting that Skybox's business at Google will be 'knowledge,' Skybox co-founder Dan Berkenstock said: "We think we are going to fundamentally change humanity's understanding of the economic landscape on a daily basis."

The acquisition of Skybox is a highly strategic move by Google, especially given the fact that Google has long had a deal with Skybox rivalDigitalGlobe, whose satellites are 10 times costlier than Skybox satellites. In addition, the DigitalGlobe satellites are also 10 times heavier than Skybox satellites; thereby resulting in much higher launch costs.

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