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!