Google should buy Digital Globe…. yes, no, may be?!

In all honesty I think Google should buy DigitalGlobe.  I  think it will do more good then bad.  Firstly, Vector data used to be the Intel inside of Cartography and literally any electronic Map, be it MapQuest, Yahoo Maps or what ever you can think of.  A paradigm shift took place since the lauch of Google Maps – Vector  Data lost it’s glamour as more and more API’s started popping up, and more geeks celebrated their victory than ever by mashing up every silly idea you can think of! 

 But now, Imagery has taken the center stage… there are simply numerous environmental and other 3D applications  that need satellite imagery to perform any kind of analysis.  Although, imagery can be bought from companies directly..it becomes too expensive for common man to buy it.   I think it makes perfect sense for Google to buy it off and democratize it

It will allow for imagery acquisition in real-time as well depending on requirements and of interest leading to the development of more real time internet applications that can utilize up-to-date data feeds.  Information will become more available, leading to more mashups and more good for the people!

 Acquisition wise it would make perfect sense, it will bump up Google’s stock! 😉 and also think of this – develop 3D models using Sketch Up and over lay on top of terrains developed from imagery.. ooooh that would be perfect!

Disclosure: I don’t own Google stock!

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3 responses to “Google should buy Digital Globe…. yes, no, may be?!

  1. I don’t think Google wants to own and operate satellites. Nor would they want to build the next-generation systems when all they need to do is to buy imagery from commercial providers in the US or overseas. Another factor is that DigitalGlobe’s next-generation satellite is a black and white camera only and I wonder if Google Earth plans to buy such imagery since it’s not color. The search engines (Google Earth, Microsoft Virtual Earth and Yahoo Maps) have done a terrific job in building awareness about satellite and aerial imagery. There is no going back to a world of cartoon maps!

  2. Hi Mark,
    Thanks for your input. I am pretty surprised that Digital Globe’s next one would be panchromatic. I was only wondering that someday Google will end up doing something similar to Astrovision, http://www.astrovision.com/ourbus.html Although, it’s not necessary for them to have it…it just makes more sense in terms of value, and also if you look at their recent tie up with NASA to study climate patterns and share data among each other..

    Does GeoEye plan to release any new satellites in the near future? Ikonos simply rocks!!

    And yes I totally agree with you, with the GYM gang doing an excellent job with mapping.. no more cartoon maps! 🙂

  3. To answer your question, GeoEye plans to launch GeoEye-1 later this year. It will be able to provide half-meter color imagery. Regarding my earlier comment regarding DigitalGlobe, I want to make a clarification. They plan to launch two next-generation systems. Both are funded. While their first system will be panchromatic as per their contract with the DOD, their follow-on system will provide 8 bands of multi-spectral “color” imaging. DG has announced they have also acquired aerial color capabilities through its acquisition of GlobeXplorer.

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