US: In the last few weeks, the two most talked about “plausible” acquisitions in the geospatial world have been: Facebook buying Titan Aerospace for reported $60mn and Google is showing keen interest in a satellite startup. In fact, reports of Google approaching Titan are also making rounds.
Now, a recently published TechCrunch report suggest that Google has been developing keen interest in buying Skybox Imaging, a California-based startup that builds high-resolution imaging microsatellites and provides a platform to view the data. While there has been no official announcement in either of the aforementioned cases.
It is believed that Skybox's imagery would complement Google Maps/Earth, and its analytics efforts could mesh with Google's attempts to use massive computing power and artificial intelligence in fields ranging from mobile assistant apps to robotics to self-driving cars. Also, experts opine that with the advent of Google in this arena, leading satellite imagery firms like DigitalGlobe too would be affected.
Skybox, recently, entered into a multi-year, strategic partnership with Japan Space Imaging (JSI), a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, to provide high-resolution imagery and full motion (90 seconds) commercial video to the Japanese market.