Google buys satellite imaging firm Skybox for $500 mn

Wednesday 11 June 2014 10.58
Latest Google purchase to improve its mapping services
Latest Google purchase to improve its mapping services

Google has announced plans to buy the satellite group Skybox Imaging for $500m in a move to improve mapping and other services using geospatial data.

"We've agreed to acquire Skybox Imaging, and we look forward to welcoming them to Google," a statement from the Internet giant said. 

"Their satellites will help keep our maps accurate with up-to-date imagery," Google said.

"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 company added. 

Skybox said the goal of the five-year-old firm was "to revolutionise access to information about the changes happening across the surface of the Earth."

"We've built and launched the world's smallest high-resolution imaging satellite, which collects beautiful and useful images and video every day. 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," it added. 

The news comes two months after Google announced a deal to buy Titan Aerospace, a maker of solar-powered drones that could be used to boost Internet access to remote areas. 

Google has also been working on its Project Loon, which uses large balloons for transmitting Internet signals to regions that are not now connected.