Google announced earlier today that its subsidiary Skybox Imaging, which provides satellite images of the Earth for commercial purposes, has been renamed as Terra Bella. Google had acquired Skybox Imaging in 2014 for $500 million.
With the change in the name, Skybox Imaging will no longer be confined to sending imaging satellites into orbit and taking pictures of Earth from space. It will now soon start to analyse the images it takes as well.
As proud as we are to have played a leading role in developing satellite technologies, we have realized that our vision extends far beyond boxes in the sky. As Google revolutionized search for the online world, we have set our eyes on pioneering the search for patterns of change in the physical world. In order to focus firmly on the future, we’re pursuing that vision under a new name – Terra Bella,
stated Dan Berkenstock, John Fenwick and Ching-Yu Hu, Skybox founders in a blog post.
Terra Bella will launch close to 12 satellites in the coming years, they added. Skybox Imaging was founded in 2009 by Dan Berkenstock, John Fenwick, and Ching-Yu Hu, before it was acquired by Google in June, two years ago. Around the same time, Skybox Imaging launched SkySat-1 its first satellite into orbit. The satellite has surpassed 100,000 pictures and continues to be in orbit around the planet. The start-up was already developing satellites when Google included the company into its broader umbrella. Initially, it was speculated that Google might use the services of the start-up for its Google Maps service.
There is an incredible opportunity for geospatial information to transform our ability to meet the economic, societal, and humanitarian challenges of the 21st century, but satellite imagery represents only one part of the puzzle,
The founders also added that the company will start focusing on widening its services to include geospatial data sources and machine learning capabilities. Now after being renamed as Terra Bella, the company plans to convert raw imagery into data that can transfer the mind-set of public, which it calls as its goal for the future.