US government lifts restrictions on high-detail satellite imaging

The US government will now allow the likes of Google and Microsoft's Bing to use satellite images containing far more detail. Previous restrictions stopped anything smaller than 50 cm (1.64 feet) being shown on satellite photos. Imaging company Digital Globe was behind the request, and reckons it could well take shots from space that capture things as small as 31 cm. Lawyer Marc Daultich told the BBC that this could raise security concerns, although this restriction didn't really encompass the blurring or otherwise obscuring of sensitive locations. Digital Globe plans to launch new satellites following the decision and says it'll be able to take thrilling photos of "key features such as manholes and mailboxes". And hopefully something a little more interesting, too.