12 Aug 2009
We stumbled upon a most interesting TechCrunch article about how, thanks to Google Earth, anyone can see where the CIA missile potentially took out the leader of Pakistan’s Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud. The article points out that a decade ago, only those with security clearances would have had access to such satellite imagery. And, thanks to Google Earth, anyone can download it for free and this is speeding up the rate at which the geo-information gap between governments and citizens is closing.
While Google Earth is allowing anyone to access satellite images, there are still some challenges — meaning we will always need high-caliber images from spy satellites. First, all of Google Earth’s images are not in real time. And, the resolution is not as clear. What do you all think? Is a consumer application like Google Earth going to take over the need for actual imagery from spy satellites?