When Google bought a company called Keyhole and integrated it’s library of satellite maps into Google Maps and launched Google Earth, it was a ‘game changer’ in the geolocation and location based service industry.
Since Google has given the maps away for free (OK, ad-supported) - their maps and resolution have become the baseline for how most of the world perceives the online mapping world. There are of course other alternatives and premium paid services that have much higher resolution and therefore more information. One example that I stumbled upon (but not StumbleUpon-ed) was this company, Pictometry, that takes oblique, or angled pictures at high resolution.
This is Google’s Image. You can tell it’s a billboard from the shadow it produces.
This is Pictometry’s Image. You can read the billboard which clearly states: “Play Tic-Tac-Toe With A Live Chicken” Now that’s the level of information I want to see.
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