Last year we had a look at Satellogic, a satellite imaging company that is planning to launch hundreds of imaging satellites. However, they are still in the very early stages of development and have only launched a few experimental satellites.
Today we are looking at Planet Labs a satellite imaging company that has already launched 71 imaging satellites and claim to have the largest such fleet in space. They are focusing on gathering global imagery on a regular basis at a relatively low cost. Their imagery is relatively low resolution, at around 3m, but is improving with each generation. For this reason we are unlikely to be seeing their imagery in Google Earth any time soon, as Google prefers high resolution imagery, preferably aerial imagery, and if that is not available then high resolution satellite imagery, such as Digital Globe’s recent 30cm offering.
In comparison, Google’s SkyBox Imaging has launched only 2 satellites of a planned constellation of 24, but they are capable of sub metre resolution and HD video.
For more see the following TED talk by Will Marshall, the CEO of Planet Labs.