September 15, 2007

Better Google Earth With New Satellite

DigitalGlobe, provider of imagery for Google Inc's interactive mapping program Google Earth, said a new high-resolution satellite will boost the accuracy of its satellite images and flesh out its archive.The new spacecraft, dubbed WorldView I, is to be launched on Tuesday.Together with the company's existing Quickbird satellite, it will offer half-meter resolution and will be able to collect over 600,000 square kilometers of imagery each day, up from the current collection of that amount each week, Chief Executive Jill Smith told Reuters in a telephone interview.
She said Tuesday's launch will be broadcast live on the Internet at and the planned launch of a second Worldview II satellite in late 2008, were critical milestones for the company. Privately held DigitalGlobe is still working toward an initial public offering in the next few years, Smith said. She declined to say whether that could come before the launch of the second WorldView satellite. Once its third satellite is launched, DigitalGlobe said it will be collecting more than 1 million square kilometers per day of high-resolution imagery. Smith said WorldView I should allow far faster collection of imagery and add more quickly to the company's archive, which is already the world's largest commercial archive of satellite images. The library contains more than 300 million square kilometers of satellite and aerial imagery.