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Google Buys Keyhhole: Mapping Ho

By - October 27, 2004

pageGlobe.jpgOne of the most jaw dropping presentations at Web 2.0 was by the folks at Keyhole, who have some amazing technology for manipulating satellite images of the earth. The images are incredible, but the implications of their tech is what makes your jaw drop. In short, the application seems to turn the world into a searchable visualization. Hmmm.

Today, Google purchased them. More soon. Release in extended entry.

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Google Acquires Keyhole Corp

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – October 27, 2004 – Google Inc. (Nasdaq:
GOOG) today announced it acquired Keyhole Corp., a Mountain View,
Calif.-based digital mapping company.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“With Keyhole, you can fly like a superhero from your computer at
home to a street corner somewhere else in the world – or find a
local hospital, map a road trip or measure the distance between two
points,” said Jonathan Rosenberg, vice president, Product
Management. “This acquisition gives Google users a powerful new
search tool, enabling users to view 3D images of any place on earth
as well as tap a rich database of roads, businesses and many other
points of interest. Keyhole is a valuable addition to Google’s
efforts to organize the world’s information and make it universally
accessible and useful.”

With an Internet connection, users enter an address or other
location information and Keyhole’s software accesses the database
and takes them to a digital image of that location on their computer
screen. The interactive software then gives users many options,
including the ability to zoom in from space-level to street-level,
tilt and rotate the view or search for other information such as
hotels, parks, ATMs or subways. Unlike traditional mapping
technologies, Keyhole creates a dynamic 3D interface for geographic

Keyhole’s technology combines a multi-terabyte database of mapping
information and images collected from satellites and airplanes with
easy-to-use software.

Google also announced, effective immediately, a price reduction for
Keyhole 2 LT from $69.95 to $29.95.

Keyhole was founded in 2001. Keyhole customers include consumers,
large and small businesses and public agencies. Current Keyhole
users will benefit from the expanded resources and operational scale
made possible by the integration into Google. Their service will
continue uninterrupted.

For a free, seven-day trial of Keyhole, please go to

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2 thoughts on “Google Buys Keyhhole: Mapping Ho

  1. Tony Gentile says:

    John, posting this ahead of your full entry; quite interested to read the implications you see.

    Mine, starting with the obvious:
    – More images to feed Google Image search
    – Location and Direction mapping
    – Route flyovers
    – View previews (e.g., show me the view from seat 23E at the Met)
    – Local Search and Photography synergies

    More detail here:

  2. I agree, Keyhole is fantastic. I just found out about it today at work, and have been on it for hours! I just hope that they work on getting more images. I looked at Minnasota, and Africa and much of it is just green.