Satellite imagery

Imagery of the Earth or another astronomical object taken from an artificial satellite
Satellite photography can be used to produce composite images of an entire hemisphere

Satellite imaging of the Earth surface is of sufficient public utility that many countries maintain satellite imaging programs. The United States has led the way in making these data freely available for scientific use. Some of the more popular programs are listed below, recently followed by the European Union's Sentinel constellation.

Several satellites are built and maintained by private companies, as follows.

EROS A – a high resolution satellite with 1.9–1.2m resolution panchromatic was launched on December 5, 2000.

EROS B – the second generation of Very High Resolution satellites with 70 cm resolution panchromatic, was launched on April 25, 2006.

Commercial satellite companies do not place their imagery into the public domain and do not sell their imagery; instead, one must acquire a license to use their imagery. Thus, the ability to legally make derivative works from commercial satellite imagery is diminished.

We understand your privacy concerns... The images that Google Maps displays are no different from what can be seen by anyone who flies over or drives by a specific geographic location.