Sunday, February 27, 2005

Keyhole

Google acquired Keyhole in October 2004 (as described in this press release), and it looks like they've continued to develop it. It's a portal to a vast archive of satellite imagery (currently over 12 Terrabytes). It makes good use of the power of modern graphics cards to display satellite (and other) images overlayed on height-mapped terrain in realtime: you can zoom in from space and fly through the streets if you want to. In this respect it's similar to NASA's Worldwind, but the data appears to be of higher resolution.

One feature that caught my eye is the ability to drape your own images over the terrain. I can imagine lots of uses for this sort of technology, especially if they let you add push-pins and images programatically.

It will be interesting to see where Google decide to take application, and to see what they do with the obvious synergy with Google Maps.

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