EarthViewer 3D, and was created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) funded company acquired by Google in 2004.
It maps the Earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS 3D globe
In-Q-Tel of Arlington, Virginia, United States is a not-for-profit venture capital firm that invests in high-tech companies for the sole purpose of keeping the Central Intelligence Agency equipped with the latest in information technology in support of United States intelligence capability.
Originally named Peleus and known as In-Q-It, In-Q-Tel was launched in 1999 under the direction of Gilman Louie.
In-Q-Tel’s mission is to identify and invest in companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve United States national security interests. Working from an evolving strategic blueprint defining the Intelligence Community’s critical technology needs, In-Q-Tel engages with entrepreneurs, growth companies, researchers, and venture capitalists to deliver technologies that provide superior capabilities for the CIA, DIA, NGA, and the larger Intelligence Community. In-Q-Tel concentrates on three broad commercial technology areas: software, infrastructure and materials sciences.
Former CIA director George Tenet says,
We [the CIA] decided to use our limited dollars to leverage technology developed elsewhere. In 1999 we chartered … In-Q-Tel. … While we pay the bills, In-Q-Tel is independent of CIA. CIA identifies pressing problems, and In-Q-Tel provides the technology to address them.
The In-Q-Tel alliance has put the Agency back at the leading edge of technology … This … collaboration … enabled CIA to take advantage of the technology that Las Vegas uses to identify corrupt card players and apply it to link analysis for terrorists [cf. the parallel data-mining effort by the SOCOM-DIA operation Able Danger, and to adapt the technology that online booksellers use and convert it to scour millions of pages of documents looking for unexpected results.
In-Q-Tel sold 5,636 shares of Google Inc., worth over $2.2 million, on Nov 15, 2005. The stocks were a result of Google’s acquisition of Keyhole, the CIA funded satellite mapping software now known as Google Earth.
As of August 2006, In-Q-Tel had reviewed more than 5,800 business plans, invested some $150 million in more than 90 companies, and delivered more than 130 technology solutions to the intelligence community. In 2005 it was said to be funded with about $37 million a year from the CIA.
So you ever wondered why they mapped the United States free?
Nothing like a little backing money from the Black box.