On the Geowanking mailing list Ben Discoe has forwarded an email conversation with DigitalGlobe, operators of the QuickBird hi-resolution (0.61 meter) satellite. Apparently, portions of DigitalGlobe’s imagery data has been licensed by Google for exclusive use in Google Earth/Maps.
As Microsoft’s acquisition of Vexcel earlier this year also confirms, this is unlikely to be the only or last case of landgrabbing and does a good job in reminding us of Tim’s argument that Data is the next Intel Inside — a source of competitive advantage. The question is of course whether this competitive advantage should be granted for exclusive use or whether the data itself will eventually be regulated by anti-competition laws. I’ll simply have to repeat Nat’s link to Jo Walsh’s OSCON talk on Open Geodata and why it belongs as a central theme in the debate on open source.