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Google to Purchase Skybox for $500 Million

Search engine supergiant Google (GOOG) sure does take the phrase “shoot for the moon” literally: the company announced it plans to acquire satellite image provider Skybox Imaging for a whopping $500 million, as it looks to expand its mapping services. With Skybox under its belt, Google plans to develop its popular Google Maps and Google Earth services with more accurate imagery.

Michael Cusanelli

June 13, 2014

2 Min Read
Google to Purchase Skybox for $500 Million

Search engine supergiant Google (GOOG) sure does take the phrase “shoot for the moon” literally: the company announced it plans to acquire satellite image provider Skybox Imaging for a whopping $500 million, as it looks to expand its mapping services. With Skybox under its belt, Google plans to develop its popular Google Maps and Google Earth services with more accurate imagery.

“Skybox’s satellites will help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery,” the company said in a statement. “Over time, we also hope that Skybox’s team and technology will be able to help improve Internet access and disaster relief—areas Google has long been interested in.”

The purchase of the 5-year-old satellite company is not the first of Google’s attempts to gain an upper hand in the friendly skies—projects such as Loon (a network of balloons travelling in the upper atmosphere to provide Internet connections in rural and remote areas) and its purchase of Titan Aerospace in April gave the public a good indication that the company means business in the satellite market, according to the NY Times.

“Skybox and Google share more than just a zip code. We both believe in making information (especially accurate geospatial information) accessible and useful,” said Skybox in a blog post. “The time is right to join a company who can challenge us to think even bigger and bolder, and who can support us in accelerating our ambitious vision.”

But does Google have ulterior motives for purchasing their own satellites? Since the announcement, speculation has abounded that Google may be looking to use Skybox to advance its processing abilities, utilizing the daily treasure trove of weather and climate data from the satellites to drive Big Data, according to Forbes.

Time and again, Google has continued to shock the world with seemingly far-fetched ideas brought to life, including but not limited to self-driving cars, modular smartphones and more. Whether the company can deliver on the sky-high (pun intended) expectations implicated with its most recent purchase, it’s safe to say that anything is possible with a company like Google.

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About the Author(s)

Michael  Cusanelli

Associate Editor, Penton Technology Group, Channel

Michael Cusanelli is the associate editor for Penton Technology’s channel properties, including The VAR Guy, MSPmentor and Talkin' Cloud. He has written articles and produced video for Newsday.com and is a graduate of Stony Brook University's School of Journalism in New York. In his spare time Michael likes to play video games, watch sci-fi movies and participate in all things nerdy. He can be reached at [email protected]

 

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