Google has entered into an agreement to buy Skybox Imaging – a company credited with launching world’s smallest high­-resolution imaging satellite – for $500m cash.

The deal, which has yet to receive regulatory approval, will see Skybox Imaging’s expertise used in improving the imagery within Google Maps.

“Over time, we also hope that Skybox’s team and technology will be able to help improve Internet access and disaster relief — areas Google has long been interested in”, the search engine giant said in a statement.

Skybox Imaging intends to use computer analytics to unlock valuable data from satellite images — something that is immense value to its customers and potentially worth millions to future clients.

According to Inc. magazine, the company is planning to launch as many as eight new satellites by 2015 and intends to have as many as 24 satellites by 2018. With Google on its back, the company could very well shorten the timeline.

“We have built an incredible team and empowered them to push the state­-of­-the-­art in imaging to new heights”, notes Skybox Imaging team in a blog post.

“The time is right to join a company who can challenge us to think even bigger and bolder, and who can support us in accelerating our ambitious vision.”