In 2004 Google acquired Google Earth to create a database of satellite and aerial imagery for the entire world at sub-meter resolution. Over the past three years, this “satellite imagery-based mapping” software is now available in 13 different languages and has been downloaded for over 350 million times times by people from around the world.
[…]they use Google Earth is because it covers the areas they care about with high resolution detail -- whether it's Timbuktu, Cabo San Lucas, or Whitiangia, New Zealand. No other online mapping provider in the world offers this global reach with sub-meter resolution imagery. In fact, we cover more than a third of the world's land surface and half of the world's population with this sort of "high definition" imagery. That means you can see details like Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, the Taj Mahal in India, and the world's tallest completed skyscraper in Taipei, images you can't explore anywhere else online. Google has been able to provide this unique global imagery by partnering with hundreds of aerial and satellite imagery providers around the world. From the small town of Castillia, Colombia to National Geographic photographers like Michael Fay, we are constantly working with new content owners to include their imagery in Google Earth. It turns out that our global imagery database is helpful for reasons even beyond our expectations: it's been used in critical humanitarian efforts from the mountains of Pakistan to the deserts of Sudan. [Google Latlong Blog]
Google, Google Earth, Satellite, Imagery, Mapping, Taj Mahal, India