Google Buys Satellite-Imaging Startup Skybox For $500M

Google said Tuesday it bought Skybox Imaging for $500 million. It will reportedly help Google's efforts to bring Internet access to areas in need.

Google Buys Satellite-Imaging Startup Skybox For $500M
Skybox Imaging

Google is again looking to the sky to help with solutions on the ground.

The company announced Tuesday it has come to an agreement to buy satellite-imaging company Skybox Imaging for $500 million. (Via Google)

And here's a sample of what Google’s going to get: The company takes hi-res images and video of a given area, like Las Vegas. (Via Skybox Imaging)

Google says Skybox will both "keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery" and "help improve Internet access and disaster relief."

Providing Internet access to underserved areas is a task Google already has a few sky solutions for. Project Loon, which began testing last year, uses hot air balloons to beam wireless down.

And before Skybox, Google bought Titan Aerospace, a drone maker it reportedly plans to use for the same purpose.

Skybox's site also reports a variety of other potential uses, including aiding first responders in a disaster situation. That's something Google says it has "long been interested in."

There's not much detail given on how Skybox's staff will integrate with Google or if it will continue to operate outside the Mountain View campus.

Skybox posted a blog post saying, "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."

On that note, just a few months ago, Skybox's co-founder told Inc. the company's vision was "to index the earth the way Google indexes the Internet."

Of course, that's always easier with Google's help.