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Satellite technology

Google is strengthening its digital map services with the purchase of the satellite specialist Skybox Imaging, which creates high-resolution images from space. The price is 500 million dollars in cash, as the Internet company announced. Skybox offers its customers the ability to observe desired areas with detailed photos and 90-second long videos. Skybox names such services as the monitoring of fields for pest infestation and the supervision of energy pipelines. It is also possible to evaluate container movements in ports, activity at airports or stocks in car dealerships' parking lots.

The Skybox satellites should help keep Google maps up to date, the Internet company said on Tuesday. In addition, Google hopes to improve the supply of Internet access and help in the event of accidents and natural disasters. Google has made great strides in developing digital satellite maps with its Google Earth project. Established providers such as DigitalGlobe or GeoEye have captured the globe, but Skybox promises fresher images on order.

Skybox is one of several new providers that want to benefit from drastically reduced costs for the development and manufacture of satellites. They pack their technology in significantly smaller satellites than they were built in the past. Skybox plans to launch around two dozen satellites over the years, but the plan is only just beginning. According to previous reports, the skybox satellites weigh around 100 kilograms. That also makes it cheaper to bring them into space than it used to be. The cost per satellite is estimated at around $ 25 to 50 million.

Image: screenshot