Actually, technically it is GeoEye who launched a mapping satellite on September 8, 11:00 (PST). It has a capability to collect 0.41 meter ground resolution black and white images and 1.65 meter color images simultaneously. Although, there is no mention of Goolge in GeoEye's press release, but the satellite has a Google logo on its side and the Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page attended the launch.
As US licensing restrictions limit commercial images to a half-meter so will this addition improve the qualities of Google Map and Google Earth? Do we really need more accurate images?
May be with Google having private access to a satellite there will be more up-to-date imageries in future Google products.
Will this be the first of many satellites exclusive for Google's Android phones?