Planet Launches 48 More Satellites

On July 14, 2017, satellite imaging company Planet launched another 48 of their small, low resolution, satellites they call ‘Doves’ into orbit. They were launched on a Soyuz rocket together with a number of other satellites. This follows a record launch of 88 Doves back in February. In addition, earlier this year they acquired Google’s Terra Bella and Rapid Eye in 2015. If our count is correct they now have 192 Doves, 5 Rapid Eye satellites and 7 SkySat satellites for a total of 204.

Planet’s large fleet means they have very good coverage, being able to image most parts of the world multiple times per day. However, the small size of the satellites means the resolutions they offer are not as good as some of the other players in the imaging business. See this post for a summary of satellite resolutions. Also keep in mind that Google Earth features aerial imagery in some locations, which is higher resolution than any satellite can provide.

The Terra Bella sale announcement states that Google will purchase imagery from Planet in a multiyear contract. Whether we will see any Planet imagery in Google Earth, however, remains to be seen. It would certainly be nice to see the global mosaic used when zoomed out updated to a higher resolution and clearer image (less cloud and ice cover).

About Timothy Whitehead

Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.


  1. Sprayandpay says:

    Google is big and nobody really in charge that is why it is literally impossible to contact them. Until corporations are treated as people they have NO INCENTIVE to care about you. Google is FAR different then the Bush era. Most of you *Likely all of you* were in diapers when Google was trying to be a public library rather then social. Their goal was *like with the rest of the internet at the time* to be a library-in-a-box.

    Google had many interesting ideas/experiments some released others canned because of lawsuits. One of the last things they did was Google Books which really helped us in our genealogy. You would preview pages of a book and if you liked it you could buy it for like 2$ a page. We did that until the program got shut down. Very useful for just getting what you want and not paying 20$ or 30$ a pop for a whole book we would likely not really read.

    Google’s best feature was their newspaper scanning which they shut down without saying anything in 2011 I think it was. The Boston Globe was the only newspaper that reported it. There was speculation but no true answer. I think Murdoch shut it down because he didn’t want what wasn’t politically correct to be available. At that time he owned 90 percent of the world’s newspaper industry. He is a total SOB and likely friends with George Soro’s whom sold children to Nazi’s in WW2 after hiding in a portable toilet to save his sorry hide. 😛 He literally makes Scrooge look tolerable. Soro’s kills economies on purpose because “he can” as he puts it.

  2. Sprayandpay says:

    After all those lawsuits Google dropped the entire library idea and is now instead chasing after the heels of facebook and My Space. A crappy facebook.

    I predict due to big government/corporations sharing the same bed we will see a one world social OS where ALL you are allowed to do is social media.

    It will probably be called something *feel good* like The Wave OS. Do you feel inspired? It would be bigger then a notebook smaller then a laptop and it folds! “YOU GOT TO BUY THIS! IT FOLDS!” Dumb American Crowd: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh! WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVE!

    I got a computer in my pocket! *Pulls out Wave OS and plays a facebook crap game* I’M A GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMER! (Drools while playing Flappy Bird)

    If you notice MS and Apple are no longer trying to compete with each other instead they stay away from each other’s turf and are basically acting the same. Apple is now just a more expensive version of Windows 10. They are both crappy. Apple users I’ve seen have said “I hate this dumbed down GUI so much I’m going to Microsoft next update!”

    I feel tempted to go onto their forums and say “Good luck! you won’t be happy there either!”

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