Google is now the proud owner of Skybox Imaging, an announcement said on Tuesday. Skybox confirmed the $500 million acquisition, saying the two companies had common focus of “making information accessible, which is what lead to the agreement. All the legal mumbo-jumbo hasn’t been approved just yet, so Google isn’t free to start using Skybox’s satellites. But once everything goes through, your Maps could start looking a whole lot better.
Grumblings of Google’s interest first surfaced toward the end of May, with reports claiming the search giant would use Skybox’s fleet of small satellites to improve its Maps service. Maps is already pretty comprehensive in its own right, but a lot of Google’s data is out of date, which is where Skybox enters the picture. With Skybox already having a robust library of data, it’ll just be a matter of Google implementing it into its own service, giving users a more up-to-date experience.
“The time is right to join a company who can challenge us to think even bigger and bolder, and who can support us in accelerating our ambitious vision,” Skybox said in its announcement.
In addition to simply creating better Maps, Google said Skybox’s satellites could also help with providing Internet access to those not currently connected. Google has voiced its commitment to connecting the world, and is attempting to do that with crazy balloons, drones and now satellites. Once the deal is approved I’m sure Google will move swiftly to equip some of Skybox’s satellites with the necessary technology to get more people online. We just hope they’re a little easier to control than Project Loon.