York University (Canada) Prof. Vincent Tao has developed a satellite mapping technology that enables users to visually zoom in on � or fly over � any place on the planet in real time. Called SAME (for “See Anywhere � Map Everywhere”), the Internet-based technology provides 3-D imagery with ground resolution of a half-metre to one metre.
“This is real-time streaming technology. It’s like (the online directory) MapQuest or the navigation system in your car, but three-dimensional,” explains Tao.
Potential applications include defence, emergency response, environmental monitoring, telecommunications and urban planning, etc.
But the technology comes with concerns. “Right now it’s a tool used by the Red Cross and defense, but, down the road, in whose hands would this technology fall and for what purpose? Bottom line is, it’s a case where, these days, the technology seems to be outrunning the law,” said Veera Rastogi, a lawyer specializing in privacy issues.