Google buys satellite imaging company Skybox for $500 million

Google logoGoogle has just acquired satellite imaging company Skybox for a cool half-billion dollars.

According to Inc. magazine, the Mountain View startup launched its first “minibar-sized” satellite into orbit in November 2013 and will launch eight more by the end of 2015. It plans to have 24 satellites in its constellation by 2018. With Google’s backing, though, that timeline could get accelerated.

Skybox is unique because it’s one of the rare companies to provide high-resolution photography from space. The company wants to use computer analytics to unlock valuable data from satellite images—potentially worth a lot of money to future clients.

Google buys satellite imaging company Skybox for $500 million

As a 2013 Wired profile outlined, this data could include frequently updated information like “how many parked cars are in all the parking lots of Walmarts across America.”

“Skybox and Google share more than just a zip code,” the company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. “We both believe in making information (especially accurate geospatial information) accessible and useful. And to do this, we’re both willing to tackle problems head on—whether it’s building cars that drive themselves or designing our own satellites from scratch.”

Source: Ars Technica

Tags: Google, technologies

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