Google has splashed out $500m on satellite firm Skybox in yet another high-tech acquisition underling the firm's desire to be at the forefront of new technological advances.
Google announced the purchase in a short statement in which it gave a brief insight into how Skybox's service will benefit new and existing projects at Google.
"Skybox's satellites will help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery. Over time, we also hope that Skybox's team and technology will help improve internet access and disaster relief areas Google has long been interested in," the firm said.
Skybox said it was delighted to join Google, as the company had reached a stage in its journey where it is ready to grow.
"We began the Skybox journey to revolutionise access to information about the changes happening across the surface of the Earth," it said.
"We've made great strides in the pursuit of that vision. We've built and launched the world's smallest high-resolution imaging satellite, which collects beautiful and useful images and video every day.
"We have built an incredible team and empowered them to push the state-of-the-art imaging to new heights. The time is right to join a company who can challenge us to think even bigger and bolder, and who can support us in accelerating our ambitious vision."
Skybox lists numerous business sectors on its website that are already benefiting from its technology, such as mining, climate monitoring, oil and gas monitoring and disaster recovery efforts.
The deal adds to Google's growing list of weird and wonderful acquisitions in 2014 after buying home products firm Nest for $2.3bn and robotics companies, including Boston Dynamics and UK firm DeepMind.
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Comcast's £29.7bn winning bid more than twice the £13.7bn Rupert Murdoch valued Sky at just eight years ago