Still, for all the beauty of Google's directions, "street view," and "search nearby," the top-down views of our world have always been a bit fuzzy and squint-inducing. Until now. Thanks to Google hitching a ride on GeoEye-1, that's all about to change. And today, we saw the first example of what's to come.
With access to the GeoEye-1 imagery, Google can now begin providing images for Google Maps and Google Earth that will boast a resolution of 50 cm. (That's just shy of two feet for you non-metric types.)
Wired has posted the first photo from GeoEye, and it's amazingly crisp.
Here's a comparison between the new satellite image and the current resolution (GeoEye-1 image, top):
Looking for more resolution than that? You're going to need to get security clearance. The US Federal Government restricts distribution of higher-resolution imagery, even though the image the satellite is capturing has a more detailed resolution (43 cm).
Currently, there is no specific date for when the imagery will be added to Google Maps and Google Earth.
One thing is for sure: When this new high-resolution imagery becomes available, Google Maps sightseeing will get a great deal more interesting.