GeoEye Inc. (formerly Orbital Imaging Corporation or ORBIMAGE) was an American commercial satellite imagery company based in Herndon, Virginia. GeoEye was merged into the DigitalGlobe corporation January 29th, 2013.
The company was founded in 1992 as a division of Orbital Sciences Corporation in the wake of the 1992 Land Remote Sensing Policy Act which permitted private companies to enter the satellite imaging business. The division was spun off in 1997. It changed its name to GeoEye in 2006 after acquiring Denver, Colorado-based Space Imaging for $58 million. Space Imaging was founded and controlled by Raytheon and Lockheed Martin. Its principal asset was the IKONOS satellite.
Although ORBIMAGE's first chairman was Orbital chairman David W. Thompson, and Orbital at the time owned more than 60 percent of the stock, it no longer has a substantial interest in the company or its successor.
GeoEye provided of satellite map images to Microsoft and Yahoo! search engines. In 2008 Google secured exclusive online mapping use of the GeoEye-1 satellite. GeoEye maintained major contracts with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency for the provision of reconnaissance and imagery data.
In the early twenty-first century GeoEye was headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. Satellite Operations were conducted from Herndon, Virginia and Thornton, Colorado. The location in Saint Louis, Missouri provided additional image processing. Multiple ground stations were located worldwide.
In 2011, GeoEye was inducted into the Space Foundation's Space Technology Hall of Fame for its role in advancing commercial Earth-imaging satellites.
GeoEye was purchased by DigitalGlobe in 2013.