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Google Just Bought a Satellite Company for $500 Million The acquisition will be used to improve Google Maps, and over time, could lead to global Internet access.

By Laura Entis

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Google has snapped up Skybox Imaging, which provides high-resolution satellite images, for $500 million in cash.

For now, the acquisition allows the tech giant to improve the quality of the images used in its digital maps, but this definitely plays into Google's long-term goal of getting a larger percentage of the world's population online.

"Skybox's satellites will help keep Google Maps accurate with up-to-date imagery," the tech giant wrote. "Over time, we also hope that Skybox's team and technology will be able to help improve Internet access and disaster relief — areas Google has long been interested in."

Related: Google Ready to Drop Billions on Satellites for Worldwide Connectivity

Satellites aren't the only devices Google has been experimenting with in an effort to bring Internet to remote areas of the globe. Project Loon, which launched in June 2013, is Google's name for its plan to deliver Internet access to people in rural and remote areas via balloons floating through the earth's stratosphere. Last month, the tech company bought Titan Aerospace, a high-altitude solar drone maker, in the hopes that eventually, the drones will be used to provide Internet connection in remote areas.

Located just over a mile away from Google's Mountain View, Calif., campus, Skybox had raised about $91 million in funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, Khosla Ventures, Caanan Partners, Draper & Associates, CrunchFund, Norwest Venture Partners, and Asset Management Ventures.

Related: Google May Be Bringing High-Speed 'Fiber' to Your City

Laura Entis is a reporter for Fortune.com's Venture section.

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