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US Government OKs Sale of Sharper Satellite Images

samzenpus posted about 5 months ago | from the clear-skies dept.

Google 82

itwbennett (1594911) writes The U.S. government has lifted a long-standing restriction that meant companies like Google and Microsoft didn't have access to the most accurate pictures taken by imaging satellites. Satellite operator DigitalGlobe said that it received approval from the U.S. Department of Commerce this week to sell sharper images to its clients. Until now, satellite operators like DigitalGlobe were prevented by law from selling images to foreign or commercial organizations in which features smaller than 50 centimeters were visible. The restriction was meant to ensure that foreign powers didn't get access to satellite images that were too good.

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People can use sharper images (5, Funny)

tooslickvan (1061814) | about 5 months ago | (#47227477)

I glad that US government has finally approved sharper images. Hopefully, this increase the availability of ionic breezes for everyone.

Re:People can use sharper images (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47227503)

and done in one.

*golf claps*

Re:People can use sharper images (2)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 5 months ago | (#47227645)

You beat me to the punch. Well played, sir. Discussion on this story is officially concluded.

Re:People can use sharper images (5, Funny)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 5 months ago | (#47227991)

They had no choice but to use sharper images, Apple holds the patent on round corners.

Re:People can use sharper images (1)

jabberw0k (62554) | about 5 months ago | (#47228553)

But can the return of Shaper Images stem the tide of mall abandonment?

Re:People can use sharper images (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47228735)

No, I'm afraid not. Only Spencer's and Orange Julius at the food court can do that.

Oh...they have access to better imagery... (5, Interesting)

TheCaptain (17554) | about 5 months ago | (#47227495)

but they can't share it with you. I'm not sure how much they can even disclose about the abilities of the satellites they have, but you need to bear in mind that companies like Google actually own imaging satellites of their own. They've been able to do much higher resolutions for a very very long time already...they just haven't been allowed share it with us.

The resolution limitations have been political in nature...most if not all of the hardware already up there has been able to provide higher resolution for years. I think some providers were getting around that by providing arial photography in some areas instead...the 50cm limitations are for satellites. Photography from airplanes doesn't have that limitation.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (2)

s.petry (762400) | about 5 months ago | (#47227589)

I think some providers were getting around that by providing arial photography in some areas instead...the 50cm limitations are for satellites. Photography from airplanes doesn't have that limitation.

Airspace restrictions are a limitation on aircraft photography, but no such limit can be enforced on Satellites. You could not go get a high-resolution photos of Area 51 or Aberdeen proving grounds from your airplane. Well, you could, but you would not have them for long. Either your gear would be confiscated and you would be in jail, or you would become a debris field.

I don't see much in this article that provides what restrictions are still in place, but I would guess that there are some restrictions still for areas the Government considers sensitive.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

TheCaptain (17554) | about 5 months ago | (#47227687)

Airspace restrictions are a limitation on aircraft photography, but no such limit can be enforced on Satellites. You could not go get a high-resolution photos of Area 51 or Aberdeen proving grounds from your airplane.

Yeah...this is obviously true. When I wrote that I had more conventional things in mind, such as the 45 degree views that are available over many cities in Google Maps. Those were done with aerial photography, if I'm not mistaken. I think Bing maps and others are the same way. There were some OpenStreetMap projects doing some things with aerial imagery too...I haven't looked at the state of those projects in awhile, but it looked like neat stuff. Obviously there are services that will do aerial imagery for you for a price too...where allowed by the relevant authorities.

As for Area 51...I wonder how long it's going to be until some civilian manages to get a drone with a camera over that. Maybe it's already happened. Maybe they've already disappeared... :)

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 5 months ago | (#47227997)

whatever they want to keep under wraps thye're keeping under wraps(litereally) most of the time. russia has sats, china has sats...

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (2)

MooseTick (895855) | about 5 months ago | (#47231917)

Exactly. They may have just realized they can't hide stuff in open view anymore. I'm sure someone has or is planning to buid a drone and fly it over area 51, the pentagon, and other "secret" and protected types of places. If they take those images with a decent camera and dump that via cellular as its taken, then shooting it down won't even do much good. If you are willing to lose $1000-5000 worth of gear, I suspect you could have extremely high resolution images of anywhere. And once you get those photos and post them on the web, there is no stopping their distribution.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 months ago | (#47233493)

The funny thing is that they don't bother to reduce resolution over sensitive sites in China or Russia. The same is true of commercial satellite imagery in those countries - they don't bother to hide sensitive US sites.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

jamiedolan (1743242) | about 5 months ago | (#47236959)

Last I looked a bunch of stuff around the Kremlin was obscured.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 5 months ago | (#47227593)

Google doesn't (Or didn't until a few days ago) own satellites. They buy their satellite imagery from Geoeye and DigitalGlobe. I'm not sure if they own any aerial providers or if they just buy aerial imagery from a third party. Aerial imagery is higher resolution, but it's a lot easier to shoot down an airplane if you don't want it taking pictures of something.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (4, Informative)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 5 months ago | (#47227677)

GeoEye and DigitalGlobe merged in January of 2013. From launch to the present day, Google has maintained exclusive online mapping rights to the data produced by the GeoEye-1 satellite, often referred to as Google-1. The Google logo was on the Delta II rocket that put the satellite into orbit. While NGA and Google collaborated to provide funding in the amount of approximately USD $500M for the satellite and launch, it's a bit disingenuous to say Google shouldn't have been considered an owner.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | about 5 months ago | (#47232307)

What is NGA? Is it a governmental agency? (If it is, why is my tax money paying for something that Google has exclusive rights to? If it isn't, ignore the question..)

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 5 months ago | (#47234223)

NGA is the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency [nga.mil] (alternate Wikipedia source: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) [wikipedia.org] . It should be noted that while NGA and Google both supplied funding for the satellite, NGA's contribution was approximately USD $248M, while Google's portion of the funding was remitted through GeoEye (which was later purchased by DigitalGlobe in 2013) under a contract for which the terms have not been publicly disclosed. While the exact amount of Google-supplied capital is unknown, it may be safely assumed to be a considerable percentage of the balance of the project cost and thereby a de facto partial ownership arrangement, given the obvious market benefits afforded to Google through the deal (see also "GeoEye Reports Record 2009 Third Quarter Results [amerisurv.com] " for interesting numbers). In a more fiscally transparent demonstration of the company's high interest in this field, Google entered into an agreement to purchase Skybox Imaging [wikipedia.org] outright for USD $500M on June 10, 2014.

It should also be noted that Google acquired exclusive rights to GeoEye-1 imaging data for online mapping purposes, which is not equivalent to a broader exclusive general purpose license. Other companies would have been free to contract with GeoEye for non-online-mapping use of the data. The arrangement has invited questions from some parties concerning the enforceability of copyright claims on the data, as it is produced with 50% funding from the United States federal government. While it is understood that down-sampled (50 cm resolution) images are provided directly to Google and other companies partially at taxpayer expense, it is important to understand the applicability of exceptions in law to copyright terms on work produced by or supported by the U.S. government [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

TheCaptain (17554) | about 5 months ago | (#47227695)

Google doesn't (Or didn't until a few days ago) own satellites. They buy their satellite imagery from Geoeye and DigitalGlobe. I'm not sure if they own any aerial providers or if they just buy aerial imagery from a third party. Aerial imagery is higher resolution, but it's a lot easier to shoot down an airplane if you don't want it taking pictures of something.

I stand corrected on that...you're right. Just had to double check that for myself. I thought they owned some imagery satellites of their own already.

Anyways...the other part is true. Many of the existing satellites up there can do higher resolution than what we've currently been allowed to see. I got to chat with someone at DigitalGlobe at a conference once...it was interesting stuff to hear about. I had no idea about any of those details up until that point.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 5 months ago | (#47227743)

You may wish to consider retracting statement of willingness to stand corrected based on my last reply in this thread [slashdot.org] .

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

TheCaptain (17554) | about 5 months ago | (#47227823)

Doh!

Good catch on that...I was pretty sure on that one, but my quickie search didn't turn up the details that your post did. Thanks for that.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

thermopile (571680) | about 5 months ago | (#47227803)

So, TFA states that the currently existing hardware in orbit has resolution of 46 or 41 cm, depending on which bird you're talking about. I'd really be shocked if I could tell the difference between 50cm resolution and 41cm resolution. Even future hardware, with a resolution of 31 cm, doesn't sound all that much better.

As others have opined, I don't see what benefit this will have, really. I can already see the small bushes in my backyard that I planted. I just see the size of Google's image database increasing by (50/31)^2 or about 2.6 times. Unlike the NRO and other government-based entities, I don't need to read license plates from space ... seeing roads and houses is good enough.

Oh, and nobody will ever need more than 640kB of memory. :)

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 months ago | (#47228295)

I'd really be shocked if I could tell the difference between 50cm resolution and 41cm resolution.

The critical value is 39cm. That's 11 clearer.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47233331)

Yes but it's only a metric 11.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47227883)

Almost everyone uses aerial photography for close up details.
Most satelites actually can't give much details compared to aerial(it's easy to spot the transition on google maps and similar).

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

riT-k0MA (1653217) | about 5 months ago | (#47227935)

Satellite images available to the US Govt and certain companies since the early 2000's have such a high resolution that one is able to see a tennis ball lying on a lawn. The next generation of satellites has a high enough resolution to use facial detection algorithms on the images.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47227967)

How do they get the athmosphere to cooperate? Magnifying is not going to do this alone, when you have air, tiny droplets of water and even pollution changing the direction of the light. Not to mention clouds, but some of the aerial imagery have problems with those as well.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (2)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about 5 months ago | (#47228113)

The next generation of satellites has a high enough resolution to use facial detection algorithms on the images

No matter how good your resolution that's not gonna happen from a vertical angle.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (3, Funny)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 5 months ago | (#47228597)

The next generation of satellites has a high enough resolution to use facial detection algorithms on the images

No matter how good your resolution that's not gonna happen from a vertical angle.

They'll just work back from reflections on automobile windshields.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47229345)

Enhance!:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (2)

cdrudge (68377) | about 5 months ago | (#47228751)

Reminds me of a scene from Enemy Of the State [imdb.com] :

[the NSA team is watching satellite footage of a conversation between Dean and Brill on a rooftop]
Hicks: Can you get a feature scan and pattern matching on him?
Van: No, he's smart, he never looks up.
Jones: Why does he have to look up?
Fiedler: The satellite is 155 miles above the Earth. It can only look straight down.
Jones: That's a bit limited, isn't it?
Van: [Sarcastically] Well, maybe you should design a better one.
Jones: Maybe I will idiot.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

Hodr (219920) | about 5 months ago | (#47229473)

What makes you think satellites can only look straight down? Just because the images released to the general public are always from that angle doesn't make light work any differently than the RF signaling coming from satellites.

Do you need to be directly below the SIRIUS/XM satellites, or the DirecTv satellites? Sure, it increases the distance to scan at an angle, but even at 45 degrees you are only talking about a 30% increase in distance.

So, the question should be can they do facial detection at 220 miles, instead of 155 miles.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47230467)

What makes you think satellites can only ...
What makes you think that's a constructive way to start a comment? And what makes you think the poster thinks that, since, after all, he/she is posting lines from a movie.
BTW, that 30% increase in distance includes a lot more atmosphere to look through.

Re: Oh...they have access to better imagery... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47230563)

Think again. 30% is wrong. Hint: The Earth isn't flat.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

AF_Cheddar_Head (1186601) | about 5 months ago | (#47231125)

Yep a 30% increase in distance with a good share of that extra distance through that messy atmosphere. Insurmountable, probably not but not a trivial problem either. The main advantage of aerial photography versus satellite photography is the reduced amount of atmosphere that is in the way so yeah extra distance can be a real issue.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | about 5 months ago | (#47235779)

Later on in that movie they abandon such realism in favor of store surveillance cameras that can see the opposite side of a person too. In 3D no less@

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47228753)

No matter how good your resolution that's not gonna happen from a vertical angle.

Yes, it will. They've got a database of male pattern baldness and surveillance video from Great Clips.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47228485)

...has a high enough resolution to use facial detection algorithms on the images.

Not possible: http://everything2.com/title/S... [everything2.com]

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

flyneye (84093) | about 5 months ago | (#47228517)

Yeah, well, sharing is just one campaign contribution away, as is anything corporations want to do....
Jeez, optimists.... no follow through.

One merely has to ask oneself, how close do I really want to see? There is entirely every chance the image could show me pumping the wife in the back yard.
Youre never too old to screw like a teenager, youre never too young to accidentally see what older folks look like naked, lol!

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 5 months ago | (#47228589)

but they can't share it with you. I'm not sure how much they can even disclose about the abilities of the satellites they have, but you need to bear in mind that companies like Google actually own imaging satellites of their own. They've been able to do much higher resolutions for a very very long time already...they just haven't been allowed share it with us.

The resolution limitations have been political in nature...most if not all of the hardware already up there has been able to provide higher resolution for years. I think some providers were getting around that by providing arial photography in some areas instead...the 50cm limitations are for satellites. Photography from airplanes doesn't have that limitation.

If you do a lot of zooming in Google Maps Aerial View, you'll notice that at certain levels they switch image sources. They don't use satellite all the way down. In a lot of places, the lower view is definitely low-altitude aircraft. In fact, in my state, they simply used the state's own aerial survey images, which are available to anyone for a minimal copying fee.

Re:Oh...they have access to better imagery... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47228961)

The USGS has aerial photogrametry (that is, geodetically oriented and with a known maximum error) that is fairly accurate in a lot of places, unfortunately only in the us, anybody know of something similiar outside?
For instance, the chicago area has 0.3m resolution images over the entire region. Quite impressive to me.
http://viewer.nationalmap.gov/... [nationalmap.gov]

Good news (2)

mendax (114116) | about 5 months ago | (#47227497)

For the voyeurs among us, it'll allow them to get a better look at those sunbathing nude in their backyards. But beyond that, what will it offer? Perhaps better looks at the Disneyland of North Korea, Pyongyang, the capital of that Tragic Kingdom? That's one of my favorite places to look at via Google Earth.

Re:Good news (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 5 months ago | (#47227827)

No it won't, unless the're trying to get a look at your mom.
They used to get images with 4 pixels per square metre. Now they can get 6 pixels.
They already use aerial photography to get better resolution.

Re:Good news (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 months ago | (#47228289)

They used to get images with 4 pixels per square metre. Now they can get 6 pixels.

You can't have 6 pixels per square metre. Rectangular metre, perhaps.

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47229831)

Yes you can, you just need to use pixels that are 2:3 in shape. Pixels have never had to be square.

Re:Good news (1)

un1nsp1red (2503532) | about 5 months ago | (#47232219)

You got it. That's why DVDs used 720x480 resolution despite having a 4:3 aspect ratio. CRTs used irregularly shaped pixels.

Re:Good news (1)

deimtee (762122) | about 5 months ago | (#47229911)

If your pixels are 0.4 x 0.4 metre you can get pretty damn close.

Rectangle areas still measured in square units (2)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#47230233)

800 mm by 1250 mm is a rectangle with an area of 1 square metre, and six nearly-square pixels fit inside it.

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47227907)

They're allowed to go up from 1pixel=50cm to something like 1pixel=20cm, you wont be able to tell a face from a knee with that resolution, let alone see if they're clothed..

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47228191)

There are tons of places where I'd like a more crisp image to scout out possible routes to travel via, or areas of interest hidden in vegetation.

Re:Good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47228789)

For the voyeurs among us, it'll allow them to get a better look at those sunbathing nude in their backyards.

My wife is pretty easy on the eyes, and years ago while on break from college she was on the family farm in Washington state, which is somewhat rural. She and a friend were sunbathing on top of a huge rock next to a stream and thought they'd be 'daring' and take off their tops (this was when we had some modestly.. heheh).

Ten minutes later a plane flies over.. then it does it again.. only lower.. then again.. lower still basically in a slow downward spiral. They had to put their tops back on and walk into the wood line in an attempt to get the idiot to not crash after the fourth pass.

Re:Good news (1)

CODiNE (27417) | about 5 months ago | (#47229843)

I can't tell much about Pyongyang from the aerials, what stands out about it?

Re:Good news (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 5 months ago | (#47230791)

"For the voyeurs among us, it'll allow them to get a better look at those sunbathing nude in their backyards."

Gee... You must be looking at some freakin' huge sunbathing nudes? Whale watch much? 50 cm won't show you a human nipple, penis, crotch or even a face. 50 cm is nearly 20 inches. That's about as wide as someone's shoulders. That's one pixel. No, you won't be doing any voyeurism with this resolution.

"But beyond that, what will it offer?"

I farm. I do forestry. Higher resolution photos will help me do a better job of mapping our land.

The Republicans are again... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47227527)

trying to destroy this country. They are ignoring the reasons those restrictions were put into place. Their kind so hates minorities that they are willing to destroy our entire country just to hurt them. That is the way of their kind.

US Government OKs Sale of Sharper Image (1)

storkus (179708) | about 5 months ago | (#47227595)

I can't be the only one who read the headline as the above...

Re:US Government OKs Sale of Sharper Image (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47227801)

I'm going to assume you weren't given that the first post that was posted about a half hour earlier than yours makes the Sharper Image joke.

Uh what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47227615)

The restriction was meant to ensure that foreign powers didn't get access to satellite images that were too good.

Yeah because nobody except the US has satellites...

that's the point, they didn't have high resolution (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 5 months ago | (#47229045)

I think that's kind of the point. For decades the US had significantly higher resolution than anyone else, except MAYBE the Soviets. Now that the US is no longer the clear leader (in most things), it no longer makes sense to have the same laws.

how do we escape Beta??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47227719)


enter slashdot
load story - end up on beta
scroll to end - click classic
sent to main page
go to step 2
fuck beta /* should be unreached !??? this line keeps getting called; no idea why*/

Re:how do we escape Beta??? (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about 5 months ago | (#47227817)

In reply to the question posed in your subject line, I suggest simply prepending "\" characters to each line of your beta [debian.net] . This should be sufficient to escape it in most shells. HTH, HAND.

Re:how do we escape Beta??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47229023)

Get an account, then it remembers.

A wonderful step for humanity! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47227741)

Spread the word! Access to clearer information about the world has been authorized by the US Government! I rarely applaud their decisions but this is one that I will comment on! I look forward to seeing the world in a clearer vision! Google! Update Maps!!

But ... but (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 5 months ago | (#47227785)

But what if they fell into the hands of terrusts and pediofiddlers?

How good does it get? (1)

bradley13 (1118935) | about 5 months ago | (#47228441)

I wonder about this feature-size stuff. In the Google-maps picture of our house, you can see the bright-yellow garden hose snaking across the lawn. A garden hose is a lot thinner than 50cm, even if it is long.

So: What is meant by a 50cm feature size? And just how much better are the best available satellite images?

Re:How good does it get? (4, Informative)

Megane (129182) | about 5 months ago | (#47228811)

Those pictures are not from satellite. They are aerial photographs taken by planes. Go to the middle of nowhere and you will see the (current) limits of satellite resolution.

Re:How good does it get? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47231853)

Why do they call it 'Satellite'?

Re:How good does it get? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47232847)

Why do they call it 'Satellite'?

It has less sugar than regular 'Satel', but more than 'Satel Zero'.

And don't get me started on 'New Satel'...

two hoses will look like one (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 5 months ago | (#47229127)

What you'll see as you approach the limit of resolution is the average color of each pixel, so features smaller than the feature size are still visible. That is to say, a 10cm yellow pipe and green grass will make a yellow/green pixel. What you can't see is whether there is one pipe 10cm is diameter or two pipes, each 3cm.

Another example would be sign that is 20cm wide. That sign will be visible as it effects the color of the pixel, but none of the lettering will be visible because the whole sign is just one pixel.

50 cm is enough for almost all military usages (1)

iceco2 (703132) | about 5 months ago | (#47228481)

It was a fairly silly limitation to begin with.
At 50 cm resolution a competent analyst can identify specific models of aircrafts and other military veichals,
Counting them and identifying movement is even easier.

Re:50 cm is enough for almost all military usages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47228565)

It was a fairly silly limitation to begin with.
At 50 cm resolution a competent analyst can identify specific models of aircrafts and other military veichals,
Counting them and identifying movement is even easier.

With more resolution allows and incompetent analyst can identify specific models of aircraft and other military vehicles,
Counting them and identifying movement is even easier.

When will it be good enough (1)

jpellino (202698) | about 5 months ago | (#47228537)

to find my car keys? Don't laugh - IIRC Hubble has the resolution of a dime at 200 miles, right? It orbits at about 350 miles out. The capability is certainly there.

Re:When will it be good enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47228851)

Yeah, and who in the hell knows what the NRO [wikipedia.org] birds can find nowadays.

Re: When will it be good enough (1)

iceco2 (703132) | about 5 months ago | (#47228915)

There is atmospheric distortion to deal with. Looking in is much harder then looking out.

Area 51 - What's Really There? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47228777)

But I bet they still won't be Allowed to Share Photos of Area 51. If there are no Aliens, then let us see. But we can't even view it from Space or get within miles of it.

What's in there? I'm not saying it is Aliens, but if it's only Military stuff, it's not that big a deal. So what if China sees our Missles or fighter jets from satelite photos? They still won't know how to make them, and this will deter them even more because they see our might. So it's not just that. It's something more. Aliens, maybe Alien Spacecraft, I'm not sure what, but aren't you at least SUSPICIOUS?

People who have worked there have REPORTED claims that there is Alien Spacecraft there. They can't all be lying, right?

Open your minds.

And I come in peace, just in case the aliens are reading Slashdot.

Have a wonderful day everyone, and enjoy your weekend. And if you want to contact me for more proof about Aliens just leave your email and I will message you ASAP. Bye Bye Guys and Gals :)

Re:Area 51 - What's Really There? (1)

JRV31 (2962911) | about 5 months ago | (#47229337)

People who have worked there have REPORTED claims that there is Alien Spacecraft there. They can't all be lying, right?

The best place to hide the truth is in a pack of lies.

House and Senate debate on what to do with aliens (1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#47230287)

If there are no Aliens, then let us see.

The government knows there are aliens. Otherwise, there wouldn't be big public debates on C-SPAN and C-SPAN 2 on what kind of "amnesty" to give to undocumented children forced by their parents to commit the crime of being present in the United States.

CSI tech just got real (1)

bregmata (1749266) | about 5 months ago | (#47228957)

Magnify. Zoom in on the reflection in his sunglasses. Enhance. There's the killer's face right there. Sergeant Takerdown and Sergeant Booker, go pick up our unsub and bring her in for questioning.

Re:CSI tech just got real (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47232895)

Magnify. Zoom in on the reflection in his sunglasses. Enhance. There's the killer's face right there. Sergeant Takerdown and Sergeant Booker, go pick up our unsub and bring her in for questioning.

The "un" in "unsub" is short for "unknown". If you know who to bring in for questioning, she isn't "unknown" and therefore isn't an "unsub".

FTA, looks like the max resolution is 12 inches (2)

wiredog (43288) | about 5 months ago | (#47229055)

So nowhere near good enough to ID a person, or even a vehicle.

Re:FTA, looks like the max resolution is 12 inches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47230539)

You forget they correlate multiple sources.

ID from the red-light camera at the corner; tracking from the satellites; targeting using the cell phone signal ...

Re:FTA, looks like the max resolution is 12 inches (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47232791)

Wrong. I can ID my Plymouth Voyager in my girlfriend's driveway on GoogleEarth.

50 cm? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#47229321)

50 cm (~19.5") isn't all that great for commercial aerial products these days. I work with county government and we don't touch anything bigger than 12", and most of our stuff these days is pushing 4". That is taken from aircraft not satellites but now days they don't even need to create base points for Geo-rectification. It used to be they would need to paint sizable white arrows at dozens of locations across the county and using high accuracy GPS locate the tip of those arrows. Then after capturing the imagery they would locate those arrows on the imagery and using some complicated software geolocate the imagery. Now they have high a suite of sensors (GPS, tilt, yaw, accelerometer, etc) on the aircraft and maybe a precisely located base transmitter in the middle of the capture area. After capturing they can technically have the imagery to you within a few hours (though its usually a few weeks/month). For most uses (locating electrical poles, manholes, etc) 6" is about as low as you want to go.

Obligatory xkcd (2)

biochozo (2700157) | about 5 months ago | (#47230417)

http://xkcd.com/1204/ [xkcd.com] "Google defends the swiveling roof-mounted scanning electron microscopes on its Street View cars, saying they 'don't reveal anything that couldn't be seen by any pedestrian scanning your house with an electron microscope.'"
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