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July 22, 2007

Google Buys ImageAmerica to Improve Google Earth's Imagery

Google bought ImageAmerica, a company that produces high-resolution imagery using some interesting technologies. "In 1998, ImageAmerica set out to change dated industry methodology by developing a unique, digital panoramic imaging technology. Shortly thereafter, ImageAmerica fielded the world's first commercial high-resolution digital camera system based on this technology. Today, the patented DDP-2 camera remains the world resolution leader with more than twice the resolution of its nearest competitor. This high-resolution capability and proprietary ImageAmerica processing software are the keys to quick and efficient delivery of large imagery datasets."

ImageAmerica offered Google and other companies high-resolution imagery of the New Orleans affected by Hurricane Katrina so people could identify the affected areas. "700 square miles of high-quality six-inch digital aerial imagery of New Orleans and the surrounding area were captured and fully orthorectified and mosaicked in a 24 hour period," according to a press release.
ImageAmerica is in the business of providing updated and new digital orthoimagery* for use in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Customers generally include city, county, state and federal government entities along with commercial enterprises.

Our digital ortho technologies provide a unique combination of benefits including wide area coverage, high resolution, National Map Accuracy Standard (NMAS) accuracy, quick delivery and low cost.

Our Beech Starship aircraft provides the perfect platform for the DDP-2 (Direct Digital Panoramic) system. Able to fly high, fast and with great stability, the aircraft allows us to optimize the camera system capability. (...)

Using ImageAmerica products, customers with existing GIS can now afford to obtain annual highly accurate updates to their ortho base maps.

Even if Google says we won't see the effects of this acquisition immediately, Google Maps/Google Earth's imagery should update faster and have a better quality.

*According to this site, "a digital ortho is an aerial photograph that has been processed to correct for scale variations and image displacement resulting from relief or terrain variations and camera tilt such that positions of objects appearing on the image are represented in their true position (coordinate)."

{ Most of the quotes are from Exalead's cache of ImageAmerica's website. }

1 comment:

  1. Does ImageAmerica only take pictures of america? Would be great to get some more higher resolution images of euuropean cities...


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