Circling the Earth are a trio of satellites owned by GeoEye, a company that supplies a good chunk of the overhead images seen on services such as Google Earth and Google Maps.
Those satellites deliver a steady stream of images to the Virginia-based firm, which sells them to commercial and government clients. One of the company’s satellites, for example, captured the images of President Barack Obama’s inauguration for CNN within a few hours of the event, prompting the network to suggest it was history in the making, with the "fastest nonmilitary turnaround of a satellite image."
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GeoEye’s products and services enable timely, accurate, and accessible location intelligence. The company is recognized as one of the geospatial industry's most trusted imagery experts, delivering reliable service and exceptional quality imagery products and solutions to customers around the world. GeoEye has developed an advanced information technology infrastructure for collecting, receiving, processing and distributing imagery information products and processing services to the U.S. Government including the national security community as well as international governments and commercial customers. These products serve applications including defense and intelligence, precision mapping, on-line mapping, infrastructure development, planning and monitoring, and environmental assessment. The company collects tens of millions of square kilometers of imagery per year with its existing satellites and aerial assets, which includes GeoEye-1, the world’s highest resolution commercial imaging satellite. The company also provides support to academic institutions and non-governmental organizations through the GeoEye Foundation (http://www.geoeyefoundation.org). Headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, GeoEye is a public company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the symbol GEOY. It maintains a comprehensive Quality Management System (QMS) and has achieved company-wide ISO accreditation.