If you go outside on August 22nd and start waving at the sky for a few consecutive months*, chances are you might be able to spot yourself on Google Maps in the near future.
On that date, Virginia-based company GeoEye will launch the GeoEye-1 satellite from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California. When it reaches its orbit, GeoEye-1 will start snapping photos of Earth – and it will do so fast. The satellite can take high-resolution photos of an area the size of Texas within a day.
GeoEye-1, holding an ultra high-resolution digital camera attached to a massive telescope, will be able to take clear images of objects just 20 inches across – a huge improvement over Google Earth’s current 3-foot resolution. At this resolution, we should soon be able to see the shapes of people in online maps – but still not license plates.
What’s more, the satellite is capable of even higher-resolution pictures, but those will be kept under wraps. The government will be keeping these shots, depicting objects as small as 16 inches across clearly, to itself citing security concerns.
It looks like our view of the world from space is about to get much clearer. Who knows what people will begin finding in their neighbors’ back yards. [via DVICE]
*Disclaimer: we are not responsible for any readers being taken to mental institutions or having their sanity questioned in any other way.