The GeoEye1 satellite will serve a number of clients, including the U.S. government (and Google itself). Naturally, the government will be able to access higher resolution images than you and I. That said, the new images that you and I will have access to on Google Maps and Google Earth will be of “much higher quality” than what we’re used to.
What’s Google’s stock at right now? I wouldn’t be surprised if this type of lavish spending slows down in the next few months.