We warned you that Google would soon be snapping shots of your backyard with GeoEye-1, a military-controlled satellite with the highest-resolution terrestrial camera now in orbit. Well, yesterday at high noon Eastern time, Larry and Sergei's little baby started snapping. But according to Wired, GeoEye's communications guy says "this is the opposite of a spy satellite." Yes, it makes sense. "Spies don't put info on the internet and sell imagery," reasons GeoEye's Mark Brender, who stresses that for GeoEye and its Googlicious patron, these images are specifically intended for customers. (For creeping irony, refer to Joseph Heller's Catch-22.) No, see, the spy material is actually something totally different—that happens to also come from the same satellite. According to the same dude, the camera is capable of recording classified images to a resolution of 41 centimeters, or as Wired puts it, "close enough to zoom in on the home plate of a baseball diamond." These pics will go to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, who is putting up $502 million, even even than Google. So instead of Larry and Sergei getting those shots of you in a bikini, they'll go to Dick Cheney. I am so relieved. [GeoEye Image Gallery via Wired]
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41cm is pretty good (just above 1 foot). Here at work, we purchase images with a resolution of 4 feet.