Satellites Will See More, Faster

It looks like all the mapping websites, including Google Maps and Virtual Earth, will have access to far more and far more frequent data.

GeoEye says its next-generation satellite, GeoEye-1, will be capable of acquiring each day approximately 270,000 square miles of imagery, an area about the size of Texas. That’s about seven times the area covered by Ikonos, the best imaging satellite the company has running today.

DigitalGlobe, the satellite imagery supplier for Google Earth, plans to launch its next orbital, WorldView 1, later this year. The company says it will be capable of collecting up to 193,000 square miles of imagery per day.

Next-generation satellites will also revisit locations more frequently.

Chuck Herring, spokesman for DigitalGlobe, anticipates that by combining WorldView and existing satellites, the firm will be able to revisit practically any point on Earth’s surface on a daily basis. (Currently, the company revisits about once every three days.)