We brought you series of four videos titled Geospatial Revolution that explains you that how geospatial data plays a vital role in daily life.
The raid in hunt of Osama Bin Laden in first week of May brought most of the commercial satellites into motion to take the immediate captures. GeoEye’s satellite IKONOS captured the satellite imagery of Abbottabad on 2 May 2011 at 10:51am PST while flying 423 miles above the Earth at an average speed of 17,000 mph, or four miles per second . This imagery clearly shows the crashed helicopter inside compound as you can see in following screen-shot on left side portion.
GeoEye is one of the major imagery providers to Google and Google not only took quick steps to take this particular imagery into mapping products but also made an unusual move of pre-announcing the satellite imagery update first time ever.
Today we learn that out of all the announced updates, Google has taken down only this particular satellite imagery from all its mapping platforms[2a] [2b]. No announcement has been made over this action so far. The current default imagery for Abbottabad, Pakistan is dated 9 May 2010 while historical imagery in Google Earth only goes back to 2001.
Here is a comparison taken from Google Earth between current imagery captured in 2010 and historical imagery captured in 2001. You can easily notice all the housing developments in the area apart from just alleged compound.
It will be interesting to observe if world can get the satellite imagery just that quick in case of some emergency or natural disaster as well. Let us know what do you think of all this.