Google has announced that it is buying a satellite imaging company, Skybox Imaging for $500 million in cash. The internet giant says that Skybox's satellite-photo tech will improve its Google Maps.
The company says in a news release, "Skybox's satellites will help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery. Over time, we also hope that Skybox's team and technology will be able to help improve Internet access and disaster relief — areas Google has long been interested in."
Skybox claims that it has built and launched the world's smallest high-resolution imaging satellite. Apart from improving Google maps the satellite maker will give Google the ability to design and build its own fleet of satellites. According to a report by WSJ, Google is planning to spend more than $1 billion to build a fleet of satellites that will orbit the Earth.
Earlier this year, Google purchased drone maker Titan Aerospace to help advance its Project Loon, which aims to provide internet access to remote places around the world.
Social networking giant, Facebook is working on beaming internet connectivity to remote countries by harnessing satellite, drone and other technology. The social media giant has hired aerospace and communications experts from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab and its Ames Research Center for its new "Connectivity Lab" project.
"Today, we're sharing some details of the work. Facebook's Connectivity Lab is going to build drones, satellites and lasers to deliver the internet to everyone," Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said in a post on Facebook. "We're going to continue building these partnerships, but connecting the whole world will require inventing new technology too," he added.