Fantastic news from India:
Taking the global geo-mapping service Google-Earth head on, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to launch its own satellite imaging system on its website within six months.
Of course, whoever wrote this press release doesn’t know that Google is not in the business of making its own imagery, but rather accumulates satellite and aerial imagery from all comers. But let’s not nitpick:
‘We are going to launch our own satellite images on the web within six months from now. Our images are quite good and even better than Google,’ ISRO chairman G. Madhavan Nair dislosed here Thursday.
He said certain locations with security risks have been prohibited by the law from being imaged.
[…] Nair said the Remote Sensing Satellites (RSS) provide imagery of the earth in a variety of spectral bands and with a resolution better than one metre.
This is good news for us, because you can never get enough high resolution imagery of the planet. Imagery of India itself will be censored, but with luck India will soon be offering competitive imagery for sale of other areas that are currently serviced by just a few US, French and Russian vendors. India’s iGovernment site adds:
“The space organisation is ready to offer its capacities on a commercial basis and ring in its cash registers, after meeting the domestic requirement that calls for four to five launches a year,” [Nair] said.
Wouldn’t it be great to finally get sub-meter resolution imagery of Israel, Gaza, the West Bank and Golan in Google Earth, courtesy of India? Those areas are currently not available at resolutions higher than 2.5m per pixel, in part due to outdated legislation that should be abolished.
It’s ironic, though, that this additional source of global satellite imagery is coming about as a result of wanting to offer a censored alternative to Google’s imagery dataset and borders for India.