Google acquires ImageAmerica to boost mapping

Company that specializes in aerial photography, including its own digital camera system and aircraft to house it.

Google has acquired ImageAmerica, a company that builds high-resolution cameras and uses them to take aerial photographs.

Google

The search engine giant announced the move Friday on its LatLong blog about Google Earth and its other mapping efforts. It didn't disclose terms of the deal.

"We're excited about how ImageAmerica's technology will contribute to our mapping services down the road," Product Manager Stephen Chau said on the blog. "Since we're in the research and development phase right now it may be some time before you see any of this imagery in Google Maps or Earth."

ImageAmerica supplied Google Earth with high-resolution aerial photos of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.

According to older pages from the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine, Clayton, Mo.-based ImageAmerica specialized in creating aerial photos with "accuracy, quick delivery and low cost," selling primarily to city, county, state and federal governments and to corporate customers. In addition to developing its DDP-2 (Direct Digital Panoramic) camera system, the company has its own aircraft to house it. The high-resolution camera can capture details as small as 6 to 12 inches, and the company's processing system can produce orthorectified imagery that's been corrected for perspective distortions.

Google has extensive efforts under way to add geographic data to its already vast repository of information. Its Google Earth application lets users view satellite imagery, and its Google Maps service provides aerial views as well. Google also has begun integrating street-level views into its maps, a move that has raised some privacy hackles.

About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

HOT ON CNET

Want affordable gadgets for your student?

Everyday finds that will make students' lives easier: chargers, cables, headphones, and even a bona fide gadget or two!