Google Pays $500 Million for Satellite Imaging Company
Published on: 13th Jun 2014
Google has paid USD500 million to buy a satellite imaging company to beef up its own digital mapping services.
Skybox is a company that developed the world's smallest high-resolution imaging satellite. Backed by around $90 million worth of venture funding, the company launched its first satellite just last November.
Skybox released a fluff-heavy, content-light statement gushing about how happy they are, but without explaining what the deal would mean or why Google is making the purchase. Google simply confirmed the price and dropped a tiny hint about the reasoning for the deal.
It can be inferred from the very short Google blog post that they expect to speed up the rate at which they collect satellite photos by making some use of an unknown facility at Skybox.
The other aspect that may be of interest to Google is the image processing that is needed to turn satellite data into meaningful pictures and metadata.
Beyond that, this could be seen as simply another purchase to secure access to content for Google's mapping services before it is snapped up by a competitor and Google finds itself without the information feed that it needs.