Excerpted from Daniel Terdiman's article on Wired:
"Although satellite imagery has been generally available in one form or another for years, Google's launch of the image database it got when it purchased Keyhole last fall is likely to dramatically increase public interest in the technology, especially since so many people are already using Google's service for mapping, driving directions and even creative projects like annotating maps of places they've lived.
'What (Google is) doing for text-based searches, they wanted to start doing for geospatial, so that could bring satellite imagery down to earth, if you will,' said Mark Brender, vice president of corporate communications at Space Imaging, another owner and distributor of satellite-imaging technology. 'It was the Babylonians in 2300 B.C. that first etched the lay of the land on clay tablets. Google will be taking this to a whole new level.'
Most tsunami satellite images showed the aftermath of the disaster. But in this image, DigitalGlobe shot Sri Lanka's coast just as the waves were hitting it. The swirling of the ocean is clearly visible.
Photo: Courtesy of DigitalGlobe
In most circumstances, the interesting things in satellite images are captured intentionally, as were pictures of the floods of people jamming into the Vatican after the death of the pope."