If you have used Bing or Google maps, you will know that the satellite view feature is quite impressive. Nearly any where in the world, you can zoom down to the street level and see the entire planet with a few mouse clicks. And thanks to the US government relaxing rules that limited the resolution of theses images, the mapping services will soon be even more impressive.
How will all of this happen? Thanks to a new satellite, called the Worldview-3, that will launch in the coming days; the cameras onboard the device can take sub 50cm resolution. What this means is that you will be able to see manhole covers and mailboxes with Google or Bing maps.
The satellite is owned by DigitalGlobe and both Google and Bing are customers of the company. The cameras will be operating around 383 miles above earth and considering how detailed the images will be, you do have to wonder about privacy. Considering that the street level mapping services do block out faces, should these high definition satellite images be held to the same standard?
DigitalGlobe will start selling these images to the public after six months, before that, they are likely limited for use by government agencies for intelligence purposes.