April 5, 2005 9:48 AM PDT

Google adds satellite images to maps

Google has added satellite technology to its mapping service, in a move to outdo competitors Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and others.

The new satellite feature allows consumers to get an aerial photo snapshot of the location for which they are searching. People can enter an address and click on the "Satellite" link to view an area, zoom in or see neighboring locations by moving the cursor.

Google satellite

"Thinking about spending time at the shore this summer? Search for hotels with Google Local and check out the 'beach' in 'beachfront,'" John Hanke, general manager of Google's Keyhole unit, wrote in a blog.

Satellite imaging company Keyhole, which Google acquired in October, provided the technology that allowed the search giant to launch the new mapping feature.

Aerial photos are just the latest tool Google has added to its search service as it battles it out with industry players such as Yahoo, Ask Jeeves and Microsoft. Google, which in February quietly released its Maps beta, is seeking to retain its top spot on the popularity charts, but Yahoo and Microsoft are gaining some ground.

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MapQuest used to have this feature
MapQuest used to offer satellite imagery for their maps as well. That feature went away (along with others) at some point a few years back.
Posted by finman65 (17 comments )
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not impressed
Okay, I've just spent some time checking it out and I'm underwhelmed. First of all, you only get the closest resolution if you're in one of the major urban areas (or inexplicably chosen rural areas) which you can see blocked off by darker colors on the larger maps. If you're not in that zone, the resolution isn't sharp enough to get down to where you can figure out roads and streets. If you are in the zone, you still don't get good clarity down at the highest resolution. I doubt many people will find this useful, after looking up their own house once just for laughs. Google won't generate any advantages with this--the winner will still be who gives the best street maps with easiest search engine, for free of course...
Posted by Razzl (1318 comments )
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I disagree
I can see your point that not many folks will find this useful. But, it is a pretty darned cool feature, and those kinds of things draw eyeballs and loyalty. How many people will be telling their friends, "Did you see that cool new Google maps feature?!" When people check it out (possibly their first visit to Google maps), they will be impressed, regardless of its usefulness in a real world situation. And when they need a map, or directions, they are likely to return to Google maps.

My question is, will Google charge for this when maps is released as a final product? I doubt it, but we'll see...
Posted by (6 comments )
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Bug fixed?
Well, it seems to be working fine now.
Posted by nsns (5 comments )
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crap!!
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://terraserver.homeadvisor.msn.com/" target="_newWindow">http://terraserver.homeadvisor.msn.com/</a> has much more detailed photos and maps than google. google has a long way to go
Posted by (1 comment )
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