The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Google is investing $2.5 billion in the Google Earth satellite to extend its data and mapping capabilities.
Google will build an additional 10 to 15 satellites for Google Earth, which currently provides a free, high-resolution panoramic view of the globe.
The company’s move is another sign that Google plans to expand its data-visualization capabilities into new and more important geographies.
The WSJ reports that Google expects to create a new office space for the company in London.
Google’s acquisition of GeoEye last year was the culmination of several years of Google building and operating its data visualizations, including its Maps service.
Google bought GeoEye in 2016 after it acquired the mapping business of Atlas.
“We are excited to partner with Google to deliver a great product that is a key part of Google Earth and the company’s strategy to expand globally and improve user experience across the globe,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.
GeoEye, which is owned by Microsoft, also provides an image-based map service to companies around the world.
With Google’s GeoEye acquisition, Google has become one of the world’s leading commercial satellite operators.
In a statement to the WSJ, a Google spokeswoman said that the company is “very excited to be working with Microsoft on this important partnership.”