Google buys aerial image specialist ImageAmerica

Posted by Mark Raby

Mountain View (CA) - The latest addition in Google's acquisition pocket is ImageAmerica, a company that takes high resolution aerial images around the country.

The search giant will use the tools and services from ImageAmerica to help improve its Google Maps, Google Earth, and other mapping projects.

The Clayton, MO-based imaging specialist has over $10 million in equipment, including its own airplane.  Previously, ImageAmerica worked with the government and corporations to provide specialized aerial map services.

It's not the first time Google has eyed the company.  ImageAmerica supplied images of New Orleans to Google Earth in the wake of Hurricane Katrina two years ago.

Both Google Earth and Google Maps let users see satellite images of nearly any place on the planet.  However, the resolution is relatively low.

Google also recently introduced a street level view of a handful of major cities, letting users see clear pictures of the streets in places like San Francisco and New York City.