GeoEye Inc on Thursday said it will provide imagery from its new $502 million high-resolution GeoEye-1 satellite to Google Earth and Google Maps after the spacecraft is launched on Sept. 4.
GeoEye spokesman Mark Brender said the Google logo was on the first stage of the Delta II rocket that will launch the new satellite, which will provide the highest resolution commercial color imagery available on the market.
“Google is interested in collecting the highest quality satellite imagery available and as a symbol of this commitment has agreed to put the company logo on the first stage of our launch vehicle,” Brender said.
He said Google did not have any direct or indirect financial interest in the satellite or in GeoEye, nor did it pay to have its logo emblazoned on the rocket.
If all goes well with the launch, GeoEye’s new satellite will be the world’s highest resolution commercial earth-imaging satellite, offering images at .41 meters resolution in black and white and 1.65 meters in color.
Under current government rules, the company can only offer the public half-meter images.
Google spokeswoman Kate Hurowitz said Google would begin receiving half-meter resolution imagery from the new satellite after 45 to 60 days, during which the company will make sure all the satellite’s systems are up and running.