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"Science fiction is the very literature of change. In fact, it is the only such literature we have."
- 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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