SAN FRANCISCO — Google is buying Skybox Imaging in a deal that could launch the Internet company into sending its own fleet of satellites to take aerial pictures and provide online access to remote areas of the world.
The $500 million acquisition initially will provide Google with the means to improve the quality and immediacy of the satellite imagery used in its digital maps.
Google Inc. plans to use Skybox’s satellites to supplement the material that it licenses from more than 1,000 sources.
Google hopes to gain federal approval to take control of Skybox Imaging soon.
The deal needs approval from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as the FCC.