Thursday, October 9, 2008

If you think you are being watched, well, you are...

Wired posted the first image demonstrating the power of satellite photography.

"This bird's-eye view of Kutztown University in Pennsylvania was the first image ever seen by the GeoEye-1, the world's highest-resolution commercial satellite sponsored by Google, when it opened its camera door earlier this week."

(The above comparison picture comes from my new favorite website ReadWriteWeb).

So the US Government is footing half the bill while Google comes in as the second major sponsor. I have to say: NGA (a government security agency) and Google make strange bed fellows. It attests to the power of Google, and I am sure this is giving the Conspiracy theorists a bad heartburn right now, and at the same time, providing wonderful not-far-from-reality material for sci-fi writers out there. Thanks to the government for putting a stop to Google's power: "There's one catch for Google: While the GeoEye-1 will provide imagery to the NGA at the maximum resolution of 43 centimeters, Google will only receive images at a 50-centimeter resolution because of a government restriction." Whew! I was worried for a sec. It is ok I guess for the scientists and government agents to spy on me. But Google? That's a completely different scale: I certainly don't want to be seen frolicking in my pajamas in the backyard by the whole world. (Frankly, I don't want to be seen by the whole world even if I were 30 lbs. lighter and 15 years younger. Period).

And if you are Bradgelina and you are worried that the Paparazzi soon will have unlimited access to your privacy, no worries: "Google's partnership with GeoEye is exclusive, meaning the search-engine giant will be the only online mapping site using the satellite's photos." (Yes, Paris, we know you are disappointed...)

As a Suburban Mom, I can think of one great practical use of GeoEye: this should finally shame our neighbors into mowing and weeding their lawns properly! Isn't technology wonderful?

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