Google buys satellite image firm Keyhole

Thanks to Mr. Peabody for posting this in the Neowin BPN.

Search giant Google said Wednesday that it has acquired Keyhole, a company specializing in Web-based software that allows people to view satellite images from around the globe.

Financial terms of the deal were not announced, but Google said that it has cut pricing for Keyhole's flagship software package, Keyhole 2 LT, from $69.95 to $29.95.

The acquisition of Keyhole underscores Google's efforts to widen its search capabilities beyond basic Web page results, as competition in the search sector heats up. One example of the company's growth strategy is a feature that lets surfers see excerpts from some books. The company began testing the service last year and incorporated it into its main search engine earlier this month. Google also recently unveiled Google Desktop Search, a thin-client application that lets people retrieve e-mail, Microsoft Office documents, AOL chat logs and a history of Web pages previously viewed, all via a Web browser.

Google faces competition in the Web search arena from a variety of sources, including Amazon.com and a host of new, smaller companies.

Keyhole, founded in 2001, offers software that lets Internet users view geographic images collected from satellites and airplanes. The technology relies on a multi-terabyte database of mapping information.

News source: CNET News

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