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Google adds satellite maps to search engine

Google has unveiled a new feature that will enable its users to zoom in on homes and businesses using satellite images, an advance that may raise privacy concerns as well as intensify the competitive pressures on its rivals.

The satellite technology, which Google began offering at https://maps.google.com, is part of the package that the Mountain View-based company acquired when it bought digital mapmaker Keyhole Corp. for an undisclosed amount nearly six months ago.

This marks the first time since the deal closed that Google has offered free access to Keyhole’s high-tech maps through its search engine. The satellite maps could unnerve some people, even as the technology impresses others. That’s because the Keyhole technology is designed to provide close-up perspective of specific addresses.