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Google Earth's New Satellites

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the all-the-better-to-see-you-with,-my-dear dept.

Google 118

Rambo Tribble writes "The BBC provides some insights into the next generation satellites being built for Google by contractor DigitalGlobe in Colorado. The resolution of these satellites' cameras is sufficient to resolve objects that are only 25cm wide. Unfortunately, the public will be allowed only half that image quality, the best being reserved for the U.S. military. 'The light comes in through a barrel structure, pointed at the Earth, and is bounced around by a series of mirrors, before being focused onto a CCD sensor. The big difference – apart from the size – between this and a typical handheld digital camera, is that the spacecraft will not just take snapshots but continuous images along thin strips of land or sea.'"

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Deliberately crippled (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46232473)

ITAR applying to satellites and space probes is a right pain in the ass for anyone actually trying to get useful work done with international assistance.

Re:Deliberately crippled (4, Interesting)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#46232637)

But it probably gets Google the sats it needs for free.

If google can build it, but only the military can use the full resolution, it sounds like google is probably getting huge piles of money from the US Military.

Re:Deliberately crippled (5, Informative)

thomst (1640045) | about 6 months ago | (#46233085)

icebike conjectured:

But it probably gets Google the sats it needs for free.

If google can build it, but only the military can use the full resolution, it sounds like google is probably getting huge piles of money from the US Military.

The summary is completely wrong (surprise!)

Google is NOT building the satellite (note the singular) in question. It will merely be a customer of DigitalGlobe - one of many, including the US government.

Not that the US goverment needs DigitalGlobe's images. After all, the NSA has a fleet of its own satellites with far better image resolution capability than the DigitalGlobe effort.

Slushdot: come for the misleading summaries, stay for the uninformed commentary!

Re:Deliberately crippled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46233789)

The NSA doesn't launch the birds, the NGA handles that.

Re:Deliberately crippled (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46234225)

If you're going to correct someone at least do it right. NRO designs and operates US spy satellites, NGA uses the collected data.

Re:Deliberately crippled (1)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | about 6 months ago | (#46234731)

ha.. and both corrections by Anonymous Cowards. What do you guys have to hide? Hmm?

Re:Deliberately crippled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46235913)

That I'm a coward?

Re:Deliberately crippled (1)

The Snowman (116231) | about 6 months ago | (#46234623)

After all, the NSA has a fleet of its own satellites with far better image resolution capability than the DigitalGlobe effort.

Actually, that would be the National Reconnaissance Office [nro.gov] (NRO).

Re:Deliberately crippled (1)

sootman (158191) | about 6 months ago | (#46234917)

> Slushdot: come for the misleading summaries,
> stay for the uninformed commentary!

Yup. Only the power of The Beta can drive us away. :-)

WTF (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about 6 months ago | (#46232705)

Unfortunately, the public will be allowed only half that image quality, the best being reserved for the U.S. military.

This is somewhat to be expected for things like GPS (at least if you ignore that the taxpayers are the ones paying for it). But why is this the case when the instruments are being financed by a private company. Or, to look at it another way, the photos fall into two general categories: those outside the U.S.A. and those inside the U.S.A. It is hard to understand that our military would have many problems with us getting the best images available for locations outside the U.S.A. But it is even harder to understand that the military should get better images of the U.S.A. through Google than we can get ourselves. At least in times of peace and while they claim to not be at war with their own citizens. They have their own spy satellites for the super high resolution images (and don't kid yourself that they don't use them). So how and why has it been decided that we are to get degraded images from a private company when we could get better?

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46232803)

It's not being blocked from Americans per se, it's being blocked from the people outside of America. They don't want Iran to get high res images of the US, for instance.

Right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46236177)

Like Iran couldn't buy those from china or russia if they wanted them. What the heck would they do with highres images anyways?

Re:WTF (1)

magarity (164372) | about 6 months ago | (#46232817)

Because the military finds out some company is launching a satelite that can take pictures at a certain resolution and simply contracts to exclusively access that. It's a great money maker for Google or anyone else who can launch one.

Re:WTF (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 6 months ago | (#46232993)

But why is this the case when the instruments are being financed by a private company.

Because the export limitation is based on military utility, not on ownership of the company. Most weapons and other military equipment is produced by private companies, even if in some cases it is using government equipment or facilities to do so.

If Apple were to branch out into military equipment, even if they didn't sell to the US government, wouldn't you want someone watching what happens with iMissile shipments?

But it is even harder to understand that the military should get better images of the U.S.A. through Google than we can get ourselves. At least in times of peace and while they claim to not be at war with their own citizens.

A couple of things there. First, many things of interest to enemies, adversaries, or terrorists don't move. If you take their picture once, it's always there until you remove the picture. The water treatment plant for your city? It won't be moving anytime soon, including the roads, tanks, fences, and ground cover. Second, the US is involved in military conflict at present against al Qaida, the Taliban, and associates. Iran has agents and allies in the US, thousands of them, and plans to hit the US as it desires.

Iranian commander: We have targets within America [dailycaller.com]

Finally, that line of "they claim not to be at war with their own citizens" is tedious demagoguery. If the US was at war with its citizens I think the results would be more dramatic than limiting the resolution on satellite photographs you can purchase.

.

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46233427)

" If the US was at war with its citizens I think the results would be more dramatic than limiting the resolution on satellite photographs you can purchase."

This.

Re:WTF (4, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | about 6 months ago | (#46235835)

Yes. They would be spying on the general population. They would be busy video installing camera's in major cities. They would tracking who you called, emailed, or texted. They would have roving armed groups descend on a location and demand people's identities and search their persons and belongings.

Crazy stuff like that. Good thing we're in the land of the free, where stuff like this would never happen.

Continuous Image (4, Interesting)

bondsbw (888959) | about 6 months ago | (#46232493)

What, pray tell, is a "continuous image" and how is it not a series of snapshots?

Is this like a video (which is seemingly continuous over time, made by sequencing snapshots) or like a panoramic image (which is continuous over space, made by processing/overlaying snapshots)?

Re:Continuous Image (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46232541)

It's continuous like two halves of a piece of string.

Re:Continuous Image (5, Insightful)

Vulch (221502) | about 6 months ago | (#46232649)

Usually means the sensor is just a single strip rather than a 2D array. The sensor is aligned across the path of the satellite and the motion along that path provides the other dimension.

Re:Continuous Image (5, Funny)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 6 months ago | (#46234513)

Ah, so it's a series of 1 dimensional snapshots!

Re:Continuous Image (1)

icebike (68054) | about 6 months ago | (#46232689)

What, pray tell, is a "continuous image" and how is it not a series of snapshots?

Is this like a video (which is seemingly continuous over time, made by sequencing snapshots) or like a panoramic image (which is continuous over space, made by processing/overlaying snapshots)?

Think slit cameras.
You only need to capture a small slit-width at any given time, and paste them side by side in an endless stream of slit widths. You build images one slice at a time.

Re:Continuous Image (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46233163)

Think slit cameras.

Think /r/gonewild.

Re:Continuous Image (4, Informative)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 6 months ago | (#46233563)

Or better yet: a flatbed scanner.
In a scanner you have a 1 dimensional array of sensors defining a pixel width. You then move the sensor along an axis repeatedly recording that data at regular intervals (distance or time). That motion gomes from a little rubber timing belt around two pulleys, one of which is a step motor, which drags the 1D sensor across the photo or page being scanned. The result is now a 2d array of pixels that is, drum roll please: a picture we can see. If you ever used a scanner you would notice that high resolution scans take much longer. This is because the sensor has to be moved more slowly in order to allow the scanner to properly process the large amount of data from the sensor and send it to the computer without needing large amounts of memory in the scanner. Lets do some math: a hypothetical scanner has a sensor with 300 pixels per inch, 8.5 inches wide (for letter sized paper) and capturing 24 bits of RGB color. You now have (300*8.5*24)/8 = 7650 bytes per sample. And if you sample at 300 evenly spaced points in one inch and you page length is 11 inches (again letter size) then you have 7650*300*11 = 25245000 or 25.25 megs of data for a 300x300 DPI 24 bit color scan.

The same technology is used in slit cameras for industrial automation systems on conveyor lines or other areas of machine vision. The conveyor or linear movement is like the little belt in the flatbed scanner moving the object past the 1D sensor array. The cameras used are slit cameras that contain a 1D pixel array and using an encoder on the conveyor or timing, a computer can determine the speed at which to sample the array and write that line of data to a 2D array and voila, a picture appears. You can treat the image as a stream of pixel lines and write them to a file akin to a scrolling image. The interesting part is the images from that stream isn't a single instant in time (or freeze frame) like a photo from a 2D sensor but a picture of time elapsed from row to row of pixels. Its a picture of elapsed time. Or like an oscilloscope. But you have a 2D array of pixels vs time instead of signal amplitude vs time.

But why a 1D array when we have 2D arrays in cameras already? The answer is twofold:
-you can more effectively make a wider pixel array consisting of millions of pixels and remove the need to take a large, data intensive frame. You simply stream the 1D array and buffer it. You somewhat simplify the imaging process as you simply stream the sensor data to disk(or wherever) instead of freeze, write buffer to disk and then get ready to snap again.
-pixels next to each other on a 2D sensor experience noise from each other. Ever zoom in on a picture taken with a cheap, high megapixel camera? Its looks like grey, fuzzy/blurry snow. That is the noise. So a 1D array has less noise as its a single row of pixels.

The Google satellite is using the same technology and the benefits are enormous.

And one more tidbit: those persistence of vision displays that uses a 1D array of spinning LED's to create images or text works the opposite of a slit camera. Instead of reading a sensor array, it writes to an array of LED's at regular intervals (say every degree of rotation at a constant speed) to produce an image. It does this so fast your eyes don't notice the array LEDs switching on and off.

Re:Continuous Image (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46233711)

What, pray tell, is a "continuous image" and how is it not a series of snapshots?

Is this like a video (which is seemingly continuous over time, made by sequencing snapshots) or like a panoramic image (which is continuous over space, made by processing/overlaying snapshots)?

Think slit cameras. You only need to capture a small slit-width at any given time, and paste them side by side in an endless stream of slit widths. You build images one slice at a time.

I built it one slice at the time. with respect to Johnny Cash

Re:Continuous Image (1)

kimvette (919543) | about 6 months ago | (#46235617)

It probably is a single strip of sensors almost exactly like a scanner.

We beleive you Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46232511)

Yup Google is in no way in bed with the US Government.
 

Re:We beleive you Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46232567)

If you could read then you'd know it is DigitalGlobe who is in bed with the government.

Re:We beleive you Google (1)

Ex-MislTech (557759) | about 6 months ago | (#46232801)

Google's primary initial funder = InQtel = CIA

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

Re:We beleive you Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46234037)

i think you missed something. in-q-tel had google shares because google
acquired one of their investments, keyhole (google earth). nowhere on
google's wiki page is in-q-tel mentioned as an investor
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google#Financing_and_initial_public_offering

Google now military supplier (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46232529)

Continuing to do good at any cost because doing good and doing well are the same thing...

google satellites? (1)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 6 months ago | (#46232533)

I thought the original satellites were not owned by google but the images were leased. Do these satellites actually belong to google?

Re:google satellites? (4, Informative)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 6 months ago | (#46232561)

After RTFA, it is clearly not owned by Google but by DigitalGlobe. Check out this tidbit: "The satellite will be able to point to particular areas of interest and is capable of seeing objects just 25cm (10 inches) across. However, DigitalGlobe can only sell these highest-resolution images to customers in the US government. "

Re:google satellites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46233111)

After RTFA, it is clearly not owned by Google but by DigitalGlobe. Check out this tidbit: "The satellite will be able to point to particular areas of interest and is capable of seeing objects just 25cm (10 inches) across. However, DigitalGlobe can only sell these highest-resolution images to customers in the US government. "

Hmmm this is closing in on a penis cam resolution.
    Look at that pudgie on the roof over there in Iran!

Re: google satellites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46234159)

In science news, my wiener can now be seen from space.

The NRO and the Angry 25cm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46235263)

capable of seeing objects just 25cm (10 inches) across

Well Ron Jeremy is safe from observation, but John Holmes apparently isn't...

Re:google satellites? (1)

alen (225700) | about 6 months ago | (#46232575)

RTFA
says digiglobe will own the satellites and google might buy the data

Re:google satellites? (4, Informative)

RocketSW (1447313) | about 6 months ago | (#46232747)

Digital Globe is not in the business of building satellites. Ball Aerospace is building the satellite for Digital Globe who will operate it. Digital Globe then sells/leases the imagery to Google.

Re:google satellites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46233237)

thank you - most informative comment here

Technology Never Seen (1)

houseparty2 (3535181) | about 6 months ago | (#46232553)

The technologies that exist to create such high tech maps are incredible. I find it sad the the average human will mostly never see the extent of this technology. There are many technologies that already exist that we will never see or hear about. It is to bad that we can't even experience a high quality images of the world we live in. I would find it incredible interesting to view.

Re:Technology Never Seen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46232653)

Stop the nonsense. We will, in a few years. We are not frozen in time, and science evolves. Besides, it is not as if this is a secret or anything. In this area, as in a few others, the more you spend the more you get. It's not as if they came up with anything new.

Re:Technology Never Seen (4, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | about 6 months ago | (#46232697)

It is to bad that we can't even experience a high quality images of the world we live in.

Actually, I was just outside (a scary thought I know) and was able to discern things much smaller than 25 cm. The world is incredible to view - The best way is to decide what you want to see most, then find a way to go take it in with incredible resolution. Not much tech involved than what most of us were born with.

Re:Technology Never Seen (1)

houseparty2 (3535181) | about 6 months ago | (#46232793)

This is true, we can see and enjoy our immediate surroundings. But I love to look at places on Google Earth that I may never be able to visit, I think it would be amazing to view these places through the high tech lenses that actually exist!

Re:Technology Never Seen (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 6 months ago | (#46233629)

Well at best even with near infinite resolution you'd see them like an eagle flying over them, which would be odd in most cases. I think 99% of the time I'd prefer to use Google Streetview or a photoblog of some form to get a human perspective on things. Not to mention they could take pictures inside buildings, under thick foliage, underwater and other places an overhead camera could never reach. Not that a photoblog is anything close to actually visiting, but aerial photos isn't even close to that.

Re:Technology Never Seen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46233061)

Yeah, wouldn't it be trippy to have a shoulder-mounted spy satellite camera so you could snap a pic of your front lawn then go inside and pick through it in mindwrenching high-resolution detail? Whoa!

Re:Technology Never Seen (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 6 months ago | (#46234193)

True, but now try that in the back woods of China, or Antarctica.. you cant go everywhere in person.

Re:Technology Never Seen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46234229)

"I find it sad the the average human will mostly never see the extent of this technology."

It's just like your bakery, if you want a bagel from today, you'll have to come back tomorrow.

ONLY 2" resolution instead of 1"?? (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 6 months ago | (#46232559)

I'm not exactly crying a river of despondent tears.

Re:ONLY 2" resolution instead of 1"?? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | about 6 months ago | (#46232611)

foot (well 20" and 10").

Re:ONLY 2" resolution instead of 1"?? (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 6 months ago | (#46232849)

Oh, right; cm not mm. :(

I'm still not crying a river...

Re:ONLY 2" resolution instead of 1"?? (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about 6 months ago | (#46233009)

I am. Over the American education system though, not the images.

Metric really isn't that hard.

Re:ONLY 2" resolution instead of 1"?? (2)

Nutria (679911) | about 6 months ago | (#46233347)

Metric isn't hard. Remembering little-used conversion values is.

Cry instead for the 48% who think that Astrology isn't utter bunk.

Re:ONLY 2" resolution instead of 1"?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46234799)

This is Slashdot. It's not a little-used conversion value, it's further proof of how Europeans are just plan better than Americans.

Re:ONLY 2" resolution instead of 1"?? (1)

magarity (164372) | about 6 months ago | (#46232841)

You misconverted centimeters?

If Google's flying satellites, (1)

John.Banister (1291556) | about 6 months ago | (#46232563)

I wish they'd do a modern (eg LTE) version of what Teledesic claimed to intend. Global access to data communication with a direct link to Google's cloud services could be beneficial to huge numbers of people on the planet, and would also give Google the sort of infrastructure level access to data that they have seemed to enjoy having in the past.

Re:If Google's flying satellites, (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#46232839)

So you wish they'd spend billions of dollars for no gain?
Global broadband from satellites isn't very good. You've got 300ms of latency simply due to the speed of light and the fact the satellites are 42,000km away.
It's also very hard for a satellite to pick up any transmission originating from a large area. Before DSL became popular, satellite broadband was a downlink only, with the uplink provided by a dial-up connection.

If you want a satellite to reach a large number of users, it's a one-way system.

Hey bigmouth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46232945)

Like calling folks idiots? Like this from you troll http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Prove me wrong dumbass http://games.slashdot.org/comm... [slashdot.org]

It works, & gives folks what they want here (no beta site redirect foisted on them without asking, which is WHY I put it up... they did it to me 1 or 2 times, that beat it, & I gave folks what they wanted).

You're also FREE to *try* to disprove 17 points of FACT that use of custom hosts files gives users more speed, security, reliability, & even added anonymity that I list here where you can download it, free -> http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com]

(Only thing is, on the latter, that FAR more skilled trolls than you have TRIED to, only to get shot down in flames each time, by yours truly)

APK

P.S.=> Come on big talker - go for it: I'll eat you ALIVE here publicly just to laugh @ your DUMB ass even more...apk

Re:Hey bigmouth (2)

SavvyPlayer (774432) | about 6 months ago | (#46234113)

Congratulations, your writing instantly caused me to recollect a theorem that I haven't thought about in over 15 years: "The Earth has 4 days in one 24 hr cycle". Check it out, you might appreciate this work and learn a thing or two about effective argumentation style. #timecube

Re: If Google's flying satellites, (1)

Simon Brooke (45012) | about 6 months ago | (#46233529)

When I use the internet from home, my little dish lights up the satellite so effectively that not only can the satellite distinguish it from all the other radio frequency clutter emanating from northern Europe, I can push 6Mb/s up the link. Yes, I know you city folk think that's absurdly slow, but I find it mind boggling. What's even more mind-boggling is that it only eats 38 watts to do that. Of course if everyone was trying to light up the satellite at the same time it almost certainly wouldn't be able to discriminate all the different signals, but even so comms satellites are awesome technology.

Re: If Google's flying satellites, (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 6 months ago | (#46234095)

How fast is the link when there is a lot of cloud cover or more than a handful of concurrent users?
cdma and other similar technology allows the receiver to pick out a signal below the noise floor. Its pretty fancy stuff, but you'd either need dozens of satellites spaced far apart or very large amounts of spectrum just to provide decent bandwidth to a single city.
That's why cell phones are more popular than sat phones and why cell networks are comprised of many small towers over a large area instead of how TV and radio stations work with one big antenna to cover a large area.

Hey bigmouth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46235337)

Like calling folks idiots? Like this from you troll http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org]

Prove me wrong dumbass http://games.slashdot.org/comm... [slashdot.org]

It works, & gives folks what they want here (no beta site redirect foisted on them without asking, which is WHY I put it up... they did it to me 1 or 2 times, that beat it, & I gave folks what they wanted).

You're also FREE to *try* to disprove 17 points of FACT that use of custom hosts files gives users more speed, security, reliability, & even added anonymity that I list here where you can download it, free -> http://start64.com/index.php?o... [start64.com]

(Only thing is, on the latter, that FAR more skilled trolls than you have TRIED to, only to get shot down in flames each time, by yours truly)

APK

P.S.=> Come on big talker - go for it: I'll eat you ALIVE here publicly just to laugh @ your DUMB ass even more...apk

Re: If Google's flying satellites, (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | about 6 months ago | (#46234199)

Wow, that's a fast downlink, never mind uplink.

I'm a bandwidth-starved Brit from the Northwest backwaters, one of the first to get fibre (spelt correctly) in Leyland, Lancashire - and then use it to spread anarchy in the form of recycled computers with pirated windows and learning software (and yes, games) through that hell-hole, enlightening many a disillusioned soul suffering from the negative effects of the DAF fallout...

So how exactly are you doing that, Sir? And can I come play with it, please? Rachel

Re:If Google's flying satellites, (1)

John.Banister (1291556) | about 6 months ago | (#46234329)

At least billions. The Teledesic idea was a large constellation of LEO satellites - less latency, a smaller target area, lots more of the expensive satellites. I'm not suggesting they give away the service, but rather to sell it at break-even prices (for an at-capacity network) and profit (as previously) from looking at the data and selling advertising. It would be profitable in the long run, if the satellites didn't get shot down.

Re:If Google's flying satellites, (1)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | about 6 months ago | (#46236061)

geostationary orbit is 36000km, not 42000km

So BBC article not available in UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46232585)

We're sorry but this site is not accessible from the UK as it is part of our international service and is not funded by the licence fee. It is run commercially by BBC Worldwide, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC, the profits made from it go back to BBC programme-makers to help fund great new BBC programmes. You can find out more about BBC Worldwide and its digital activities at www.bbcworldwide.com.

WTF?

I'll just proxy that...

So, It's confirmed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46232593)

Google ties to military and NSA

Barrel Structure pointed at Earth? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46232671)

Boy, that's sounds vaguely menacing. Dual-purpose, perhaps? Don't be evil, Google!

Wow, this must be high tech! (5, Insightful)

hubie (108345) | about 6 months ago | (#46232679)

'The light comes in through a barrel structure, pointed at the Earth, and is bounced around by a series of mirrors, before being focused onto a CCD sensor.

Hmmmm, some kind of "barrel structure" and "bouncing light around with a series of mirrors". That all sounds pretty futuristic. And here I thought they could get by with just using something like a telescope.

Re:Wow, this must be high tech! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46233027)

Well, once you shoot all the fish it is good to recycle the barrel somewhere...

Re:Wow, this must be high tech! (1)

mspohr (589790) | about 6 months ago | (#46233389)

I think they are using this technology:
http://www.apartmenttherapy.co... [apartmenttherapy.com]
10 Ways to Use Mirrors to Make Your Space Look Larger
See, it's space and magnification...
Here are a few hot tips from the article...
1. Group Them Together:
2. Behind The Stove:
3. Turn Them On Their Side:
4. Cabinet Fronts:
5. Next To Your Dining Room Table:
6. Floor Length:
7. Layer Them Up:
8. Fake A Window:
9. Beautiful Backsplashes:
10. Fake Mirrored Furniture:

From the looks of it, they are using all of these tricks in this new satellite.

Re:Wow, this must be high tech! (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 6 months ago | (#46233909)

So read the article:

With its long cylindrical shape, WorldView-3 looks more like a telescope than a camera and it works on the same principle. The light comes in through a barrel structure, pointed at the Earth, and is bounced around by a series of mirrors, before being focused onto a CCD sensor.

Re:Wow, this must be high tech! (1)

hubie (108345) | about 6 months ago | (#46234985)

Of course it is a telescope. I'm not sure what the person who wrote the article was thinking; maybe they were thinking the optics would be some kind of big refractive system that snaps on the front of the camera like a Nikon lens. There are many, many telescope designs, but a couple of the defining features of them are that they have cylindrical barrels and they bounce the light that comes into them through a series of mirrors (and lenses too). I'm not sure why the author would think that a space telescope would somehow look like a commercial camera.

Re:Wow, this must be high tech! (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 6 months ago | (#46235179)

Well, when you stop and think about it, telescopes and cameras are really just the same thing. At what point do you call a "camera" with a high magnification a telescope, and at what point do you call a "telescope" with a wide field of view a camera?

You have a device that captures images, and you have an optical system that projects an image onto it. There are a bunch of ways you can design the optical system, and you can find many of them both in telescopes and in things you can plug onto a camera you might take to a sporting event. The main difference tends to be man-portability.

Resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46232691)

Only the military will be able to resolve my dick then.

really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46232781)

google will be able to resolve mine.

Re:Resolution (1)

shentino (1139071) | about 6 months ago | (#46233015)

Dick Name System?

Trees (1)

rea1l1 (903073) | about 6 months ago | (#46232759)

Another reason to plant more trees.

Incredible but scary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46232761)

There is a lot of new technology out there, but most of us will never get a chance to be a part of it. It is scary to think about what happens when stuff like these images can get into the wrong hands. What do you guys think?

But, but we are told Google is a 'civilian' biz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46232779)

The new Robocop film shows Google like autonomous robotic war machines carrying out a holocaust in Iran, not as SATIRE as the original movie used in its social commentary, but as wonderful example of the future for Americans, when its war machine can 'conquer' nations of 'sub-Human' without risking the lives of 'master-race' Americans.

Google has spent the last few years buying into EVERY available company developing technology of any sort for military robots. Now you have a story about Google buying MILITARY grade surveillance satellites to provide Google war machines with real-time battlefield intelligence.

Up to know, Google has functioned entirely as the R+D arm of the NSA. Google designed hardware and software systems power all the major NSA installations across the planet. The owners of Google believe the NSA project is about done- and that very average work can progress the engineering needed by the NSA in the future. The owners of Google have moved onto the next 'big challenge'.

Long before the first drone strike on a funeral procession held by 'sub-Humans', Hollywood movies proudly portrayed such Crimes against Humanity by an imagined near future US government. The propaganda tactic is called "predictive programming". Robocop is the first film to push the concept of US robotic war machines in near future conflicts, but many similar movies and TV dramas are in the pipeline. Google knows the sheeple are going to need some major GROOMING to gain their passive support of American robots mass slaughtering the Humans of target nations.

Google's robotic tanks need information. They need accurate, up-to-date, images of the streets they will travel down. RING A BELL? They need software systems that can drive the tanks down these roads. RING A BELL? They need real-time face recognition software to target the auto-cannons to slaughter every person in the vicinity of the tank. RING A BELL? They need real-time satellite feeds showing the state of the surrounding area. RING A BELL?

The owners of Google introduce their talks with US politicians and military leaders with an opening sentence. "Why is the USA currently unable to take down Iran?" And then Google goes on to give a presentation of a near-future US military armed with legions of Google designed autonomous robotic slaughter machines, machines depicted as flooding into a near future Iran, exterminating all those who attempt to defend their nation or oppose the US invasion.

Google says "nukes are useless, and so is the massive arsenal of chemical and biologic weapons that the US military holds. What is the point of a weapon system you cannot use?"
Then, Google goes on to say "our robots will CHOOSE every Human target, and in war, under US rules, if you 'choose' a target, the 'kill' is always 'legal'".

Obviously, Google faces scepticism that robots can ever perform as promised, which is why Google is currently engaged in a HUNDRED BILLION DOLLAR+ project to build the first prototypes, and prove their effectiveness. And remember, by 'robot', Google simply means an autonomous tank, not some SF terminator nonsense like the usual vile shills will try to pretend makes the proposal laughable.

 

Re:But, but we are told Google is a 'civilian' biz (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46233115)

It looks like you're off your meds again.

Resolution (1)

Vermonter (2683811) | about 6 months ago | (#46232827)

So how exactly does this 0.5 meter resolution compare to the current resolution on google's sattelite pics? Seems to me like the current pics have pixels thinner than 0.5 meters... I feel like I am missing something? I don't really know much about photography, so maybe someone can fill me in.

Re:Resolution (1)

coolsnowmen (695297) | about 6 months ago | (#46232905)

Just a guess, It might be more of a vertical integration answer than a quality of your local pictures one.

If they have to get their map data from someone else, at what ever most-recent time is available, at what ever resolution is available-- it might be nicer to get more regular dumps data you have more control over from the same satellite.

Re:Resolution (3, Informative)

maeka (518272) | about 6 months ago | (#46232933)

Seems to me like the current pics have pixels thinner than 0.5 meters... I feel like I am missing something?

In many (most?) developed western areas the images are from planes, not satellites. There is a great deal of high-res aerial photography on the open market and Google has used much.

The development being discussed in the article will benefit outlying areas and places where having temporal density is useful.

Re:Resolution (1)

Nukenbar (215420) | about 6 months ago | (#46232975)

most close in google photos are taken via aerial photography.

Irony, you are delicious. (1)

Severus Snape (2376318) | about 6 months ago | (#46232917)

"We're sorry but this site is not accessible from the UK as it is part of our international service and is not funded by the licence fee."

Not cool BBC, not cool.

Re:Irony, you are delicious. (1)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | about 6 months ago | (#46233363)

Ouch. I smell politics.

Something doesn't make sense, at least for the USA (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 6 months ago | (#46232963)

"“Once a year they pick cities like Denver or London and rescan them and they get it into their database – how often Google buys those images and updates its maps, is up to them.”
I'm surprised that Google is still buying DigitalGlobe imagery for the continental USA, ESPECIALLY for major metropolitan areas.

Most states have state-level orthoimagery collection programs, and as a result, there is high-quality aerial imagery significantly exceeding these satellites in quality over most of the USA, especially in metropolitan areas.

For example, New York State has 2 foot (24 inch) resolution across the entire state (only slightly worse than DigitalGlobe's best quality available), and over much of the state has 1 foot (12 inch) and even 0.5 foot (6 inch) resolution, the latter of which is better than what DG offers government customers. This data is under similar extremely permissive licensing to most other government GIS data such as TIGER. (Anyone can download NYGIS orthoimagery, and this same imagery is what Google uses for Maps/Earth for "satellite" which is really "aerial")

Pennsylvania has similar quality statewide imagery. Same for New Jersey (1 foot in the case of NJ).

Re:Something doesn't make sense, at least for the (1)

EmperorArthur (1113223) | about 6 months ago | (#46235647)

Am I the only person who considers it interesting that DigitalGlobe is prevented from selling high resolution images by the US while state governments are practically giving away even higher resolution images. This kind of crap is why conspiracy theories are so common. Though, my bets on good old government incompetence.

Google Spies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46233135)

Fuck you cocksuckers

First robots, now this (1)

boorack (1345877) | about 6 months ago | (#46233161)

Looks like new and cool revenue stream for Google. Are they becoming military contractor for war criminals^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HUS Army ?

Re:First robots, now this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46235015)

war criminals^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HUS Army ?

Aaaaa, I get it! You were pretending to say one thing and then you pretended to correct yourself! Very clever! That is so funny, You want us to think you really want to write "war US Army?" Very funny! Thank you! You really added to the conversation!

New Revenue Stream (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46233245)

Google's New Revenue Stream: Pron from space!!!

Oh great... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46233491)

... now everyone will be able to see that I'm bald.

So, they admit to 25cm. (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 6 months ago | (#46233713)

That means it's probably safe to assume the ones we're not allowed to know of are substantially better than that.

The difference between Google and the NSA is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46233803)

Can someone draw a venn diagram of google and the NSA/CIA.

  I keep drawing one big circle.

10 inch resolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46233917)

Pitty the space people who will not be able to see my 10 inch penis for lack of a decent magnifying lens.

Sounds like Urthecast (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46234397)

Sounds like the cameras that Urthecast just had installed on the International Space Station (ISS)

I wonder (1)

koan (80826) | about 6 months ago | (#46234647)

What would happen if a civilian entity launched high res sats and allowed civilians to use it at the highest res.

Why I don't like google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46235169)

I don't agree with the way google has evolved in regards to privacy, and the freedom of our information. Granted the U.S. Gov. has alot to do with it also. But they don't have to be a willing participant with the way our society is moving away from civil liberties and privacy.

Re:Why I don't like google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46235213)

Android is just as bad and mac or microsoft. Its a cancer of linux

25cms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46236159)

The resolution of these satellites' cameras is sufficient to resolve objects that are only 25cm wide.

Seems I can choose a much smaller font (and thus get in more text) for the message in my backyard....

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