When you want to stalk someone but Facebook and parking outside their house for hours with binoculars just aren't doing it for you, how about buying high-resolution images of their neighborhood as taken by satellites? Sure, you could just get an image off of Google Maps, but if you want to go the extra mile, turn to the source -- Longmont-based DigitalGlobe, one of the world's premier satellite imagery companies.
The company says it provides the "best resolution satellite imagery commercially available," and based on the sample images they offer (such as the one above, a lo-res but still impressive image that shows damage from the Olde Stage Road Fire near Boulder), it's hard to argue. Replace one of those camera lenses with a laser and this stuff would do a James Bond supervillain proud.
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According to this Denver Business Journal report on the company's recent IPO -- one of only a dozen in the second quarter of 2009, down from what seemed like roughly one an hour just a few years ago -- they seem to be doing quite well for themselves. (The Journal's company page says their revenue is just over $150 million a year -- a very large number.) And why wouldn't they be, with a client list that includes ubiquitous services like the aforementioned Google Maps along with various developers, energy companies and, most impressively, U.S. (and foreign) intelligence services and the military. That's right, these guys sell satellite imagery to the people that invented spying from space. So next time you're out watering your lawn, wave to the nice people in Longmont -- and whoever else might be buying the pictures.