A Year of Google's Big Eye in the Sky | WebProNews:
"A little over a year ago, the GeoEye-1 was launched. This is a sattelite from the company Geo-Eye, which entered a deal with Google to provide it with imagery for Google Maps and Google Earth.
The sattelite's camera was said to be capable of achieving .41 meters resolution in black and white and 1.65 meters in color. A couple months after the launch, the first photos were released, and they were quite impressive. That was last October, and ReadWriteWeb did a side-by-side comparison between the first GeoEye photo and the then-current Google Maps imagery of the same area: