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"The science fiction method is dissection and reconstruction. You look at the world around you, and take it apart into its components. Then you take some of those components, throw them away, and plug in different ones, start it up and see what happens."
- Frederik Pohl

Satellite Photography for Surveillance  
  Use of pictures taken from near Earth orbit for reconnaissance in a military operation.  

First description of this idea that I know about.

He turned to the desk, picked up a broad sheet of cardboard.

"I have a color photograph here."

Bill studied it, saw that it looked like an aerial photograph of a vast stretch of mountain and desert, a monotonous expanse of gray, tinged with green and red.

A photograph, taken from space, of part of the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. And see!"

He pointed to a little blue disk in the green-gray expanse of a plain, just below a narrow mountain ridge, with the fine green line that marked a river just beside it.

"That blue circle is the first ship that came..."

From The Prince of Space, by Jack Williamson.
Published by Amazing Stories in 1931
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  More Ideas and Technology from The Prince of Space
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Satellite Photography for Surveillance-related news articles:
  - Satellite Surveillance Reveals Guerrilla Drug Trade

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IJOP Integrated Joint Operations Platform China's Minority Report?
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Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
China's Drone Fleet Flies In Formation

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