satellite

Google Earth review

Whether you want to view a lifelike rendering of your city or town, preview your next holiday destination, or explore a famous location, Google Maps brings you outstanding world maps with several layers of information that you can customize according to your needs. This is one of those great apps that you should definitely have on your device.

Pros

Many optional layers of information: Google Maps lets you customize which layers of information you want to see: Places, Businesses, Panoramic Photos, Wikipedia, Borders and Labels, Roads, 3D Buildings, and Ocean. The ability to customize them makes the app versatile and … Read more

15 space organizations join hunt for missing Malaysian jet

As the latest piece of technology to be enlisted in the search for missing Malaysian flight MH370, satellites have the eyes of the world watching them as they watch us.

On Monday, a crowdsourcing platform called Tomnod, along with parent company DigitalGlobe, launched a crowdsourcing campaign to enlist the help of citizens in scouring satellite images to search for the plane that disappeared on March 7.

China has followed that up by activating the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters to join the hunt on Tuesday. The goal of the charter is to enlist space data from 15 member organizations to provide assistance in the case of a "natural or technological disaster." The charter describes such a disaster as "a situation of great distress involving loss of human life or large-scale damage to property, caused by a natural phenomenon, such as a cyclone, tornado, earthquake, volcanic eruption, flood or forest fire, or by a technological accident, such as pollution by hydrocarbons, toxic or radioactive substances."… Read more

Storm-tracking NOAA satellite system gets a technology boost

A three-satellite storm-tracking system run by the U.S. government is getting some updates that will support a complete technological refresh.

Raytheon said today that it has booked $185 million in new business for the Joint Polar Satellite System's Common Ground System. The JPSS, a collaborative system between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, is a polar-orbiting environmental system designed to both track storms and other weather events and take and send back to Earth imagery showing changes in the planet's environment over time.

Currently, the contract for the JPSS ground control system is worth $1.… Read more

Whale-watching from space totally works

Whales are big, but they're relatively small compared with the great expanses of the oceans. Counting and tracking them can be a challenge, so researchers are turning to eyes in the sky for assistance. A team from the British Antarctic Survey tapped into data from the WorldView-2 satellite, a commercial satellite owned by imaging company DigitalGlobe.

Extremely high-resolution imagery was run through processing software to help detect whales in the Golfo Nuevo off the coast of Argentina. The process identified 55 whales, while there were 23 other probable sightings.… Read more

Take a 3D satellite flyover of the Sochi Olympics

Having trouble figuring out what's where at the Sochi Winter Olympics? The scale of the games in Russia this year is particularly huge, and with reports that people on the ground in Sochi are even having trouble finding the doorknobs to their hotel rooms, it's easy to get lost while trying to follow along.… Read more

Aereo's Supreme Court battle may change how you watch TV

A tiny startup you've probably never heard of is heading to the US Supreme Court, and it could change how the entire country watches TV.

The top court in the country on Friday agreed to hear the case pitting television broadcasters against Aereo, an online subscription service with arrays of miniature antennas that grab over-the-air programming, stream it online to paying members, and store it for them in a remote DVR.

The big media companies, riled by lost revenue, say that Aereo is guilty of infringing their copyrights. But this is more than an arcane dispute about broadcast technology. … Read more

Crave Ep. 150: Will dogs speak human in 2014?

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Strap your dog's mind-reading headgear on. It's the last Crave show of 2013 and we're predicting that in 2014 dogs will be talking. No More Woof uses a Raspberry Pi computer to turn your dog's thoughts into audible phrases. The European Space Agency launched a satellite carrying a 1-billion pixel camera that will 3D-map the Milky Way, and a Romanian man has built a full-size drivable car out of 500,000 Legos. Better buckle up, because 2014 will be here much faster than the Lego car can drive. Read more

Planet Labs raises $52 million to launch a swarm of satellites

Planet Labs, a startup that plans to launch large numbers of small satellites for customers that need frequently updated high-resolution imagery, has raised $52 million in second-round funding.

The San Francisco-based company aims to offer an "unprecedented combination of resolution and frequency" with a fleet of relatively small satellites (about the size of two loaves of sandwich bread laid end to end) in relatively low orbits. It's launched four so far -- Dove 1, 2, 3, and 4 -- and plans to launch 28 satellites in Flock 1 by the end of the year. The company announced … Read more

20 awe-inspiring views of Earth from space in 2013

For the past few years, DigitalGlobe has been snapping high-resolution shots of Earth from its constellation of satellites, picking the most interesting ones, and asking the public to help select its image of the year.

This year the company gave CNET access to the 20 nominees, which show our planet at its most awesome, weird, and wacky.… Read more

SpaceX's Falcon 9 successfully blasts into outer space

As the saying goes, the third time's a charm.

The conditions were perfect, wind was down, temperatures were moderate, and SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launch out of Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station was a success on Tuesday.

"Mission confirmed," announced ground control once the rocket was safely past Earth's atmosphere. Roughly 45 minutes after launch, the rocket had finished safely putting its satellite into orbit.

"Spacecraft separation confirmed!" SpaceX tweeted. "SES-8 is now in its targeted GEO transfer orbit."… Read more