Check out the incredible hi-res imagery coming to Google Maps

check incredible hi res imagery coming google maps satellite
Hey — is that next door’s kid in your swimming pool? Satellite imaging giant DigitalGlobe has been showing off the first images beamed back from its brand new WorldView-3 satellite, launched into space earlier this month. Capable of snapping pictures down to a scale of 30cm (11.8 inches), it’s set to double the quality of satellite imagery used by Google Maps, Apple Maps and the other applications on the market.

The image above, together with the other sample pictures shown off by DigitalGlobe, have actually been shrunk down to a 40cm level of detail — government restrictions prevent them from going any closer than that right now. When it gets the necessary clearance next year, WorldView-3 will be able to count chickens, tell the difference between an SUV and a sedan, and spot baseball diamonds from space.

Related: Google buying Skybox satellite firm to boost Maps and further Loon project

The satellite is also incredibly fast: It can capture an area the size of Texas every single day, so the super-sharp satellite imagery will be updated more quickly than ever before. You might want to think about tidying up your front yard if you don’t want the whole world to see it.

“We are delighted that even in the early stages of calibration and commissioning WorldView-3 is revealing new insights that will enable customers to address some of the most pressing global challenges,” said DigitalGlobe CEO Jeff Tarr as the pictures were published. “WorldView-3 performance is exceeding our expectations and is a great step forward in helping our customers make critical decisions with confidence as they save lives, resources and time.”

Those customers include shipping companies counting containers on a dock, aid agencies monitoring disaster zones, airport authorities checking plane positions and local governments getting updates on road surface wear. Oh, and all of us, spying on the family down the road.

The WorldView-3 is smart enough to filter out clouds and smoke and is also able to correct colors as it goes to produce a uniform map. It can even be trained using special algorithms to spot particular objects on the ground, from dying trees to football pitches. The 18-foot, 6,200-pound satellite will run for at least seven years and could be operational until 2026.


Here’s all the news from the Google Stadia GDC presentation

Google announced its new game streaming service Stadia during GDC 2019. Here is all the news from the event, including news on YouTube streaming and quickly accessing your favorite new games.

Here's what we know about the Dark Souls developer's next game

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest game from Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer From Software. Here is everything we know about the new game, including its setting and combat changes.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

These are the best smartwatches for everything from fashion to fitness

Tempted to buy a smartwatch? If so, then the growing number of great models available means you've got plenty to choose from. But which one should you pick? Here is our list of the best smartwatches.

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

Though there are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, finding a solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here are the best PDF editors for your editing needs, no matter your budget or operating system.

Old Nvidia graphics cards to get ray tracing support in upcoming driver

Nvidia's RTX ray tracing technology will no longer be limited to RTX graphics cards. An upcoming driver update will add support for low-end ray tracing to GTX 10-series and 16-series graphics cards.

Apple iMac gets more powerful with new Intel CPUs, Radeon Pro graphics

Apple on Tuesday, March 19 refreshed its iMac lineup with new models featuring slightly more powerful Intel processors and new AMD graphics cards. The new 27-inch 5K model comes with options for Intel's six-core or eight-core ninth-gen…

Nvidia’s new simulator brings virtual learning to autonomous vehicle developers

Nvidia introduced a simulator for testing autonomous vehicle technologies. Drive Constellation is a cloud-based platform technology vendors can use to validate systems efficiently, safely, and much faster than with vehicles on real roads.

Paper designs digitize in real time using an Illustrator-connected paper tablet

Love graphic design, but prefer the feel of real paper? The new Moleskine Paper Tablet - Creative Cloud Connected syncs with Adobe Illustrator in real time, turning paper sketches into digital drawings.

Make the most of your toner with our five favorite color laser printers

Color laser printers have improved dramatically over the years, and today's models offer both blazing print speeds and great image quality. Here are our favorite color laser printers, from massive all-in-ones to smaller budget options.

Firefox 66 is here and it will soon block irritating autoplay videos

Do web advertisements have you frustrated? Mozilla is here to help. The latest version of the browser will soon block autoplaying videos by default and will also help make web page scrolling smoother.

USB4 will be the fastest and most uniform USB standard yet

USB4 is on the horizon and alongside a massive boost in speed it's also unifying with the Thunderbolt 3 standard to help finally create a singular wired connection protocol that all devices can enjoy.

The U.S. government plans to drop $500M on a ridiculously powerful supercomputer

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced plans to build a $500 million exascale supercomputer by 2021. The project, known as the Aurora supercomputer, is expected to boost research efforts in fields such as public health.
Buying Guides

Apple has powered up its iMac lineup, but which one should you opt for?

With new processors and graphics cards for both the 4K and 5K models, the iMac feels like a good option for creatives again. But which should you buy? Here's our guide to choosing the right Apple all-in-one for your needs.