Google has agreed to buy satellite firm Skybox Imaging for $500 million in cash, as the search giant looks to reap the benefits of HD satellites.
The company initially plans to use Skybox satellites to keep its Maps software up-to-date but more projects are reportedly in the pipeline.
Skybox claims its HD satellites can help with everything from determining crop health and estimated yield to monitoring refugee movements during a humanitarian crisis.
Commercial applications also include the ability to provide up-to-date imagery for excavation planning and insurance purposes.
"We've built and launched the world's smallest high-resolution imaging satellite, which collects beautiful and useful images and video every day," Skybox noted in a blog post.
"The time is right to join a company who can challenge us to think even bigger and bolder, and who can support us in accelerating our ambitious vision."
Skybox launched its first satellite, the SkySat-1, in November 2013. It has two satellite launches pencilled in during 2014 and plans on having a fleet of 24 satellites.
At the start of June, it was revealed Google plans to invest $1 billion in satellites to help bring internet access to people in remote areas.
It also plans to launch 180 small, high-capacity satellites, sources told the WSJ. These will orbit the earth at lower altitudes than traditional satellites.
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