A Sharper Eye In The Sky

UTILITIES, TELEPHONE companies, and government agencies spend a combined $3 billion a year to collect geographic data to plot power lines, choose cellular transmission sites, and generate maps. While aerial photography produces images with razor-sharp detail, collecting the data for a large project can take months. Satellites can cover a lot more ground--and do it in the blink of an eye. But the photographs they produce are blurry. All that is about to change, says Space Imaging in Thornton, Colo.

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