Seeing a Better World™

DigitalGlobe and Exelis Discuss Remote Sensing Approaches for Large-Scale Problems

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

A quartet of remote sensing experts from DigitalGlobe and Exelis VIS recently met on a Google Hangout to talk about how satellite imagery and cloud computing technologies can tackle daunting large-scale problems.

DigitalGlobe’s Kumar Navulur and Bill Baugh summarize a few recent examples, including how the company:

  • Helped mitigate a dust pollution problem in California;
  • Reduced human exposure to toxic mine run-off in Chile; and
  • Assessed the impact of the ongoing conflict in Syria on the nation’s agricultural output.

Kumar Navulur is Sr. Director of Strategic Business development at DigitalGlobe. He has over 22 years experience in the Geospatial and remote sensing industry.

Bill Baugh is a Senior Scientist for Advanced Geospatial Products at DigitalGlobe. His work focuses on leveraging spectral science to enable practical information products.

Rebecca Lasica is a Sr. Solutions Engineer at Exelis VIS and has been immersed in software and remote sensing science for ten years. She is a University of MN alumni with industry expertise focused on satellite, airborne, and UAS image analytics.

Beau Legeer is US Sales and Services Manager at Exelis VIS. He has over 23 years of experience with desktop and enterprise image analysis and data visualization solutions.

DigitalGlobe Unveils 30 cm Imagery from WorldView-3

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

A New Era of Information and Insight About out Changing Planet

DigitalGlobe’s latest WorldView-3 satellite provides imagery with unprecedented quality that allows our customers to see the Earth clearly and in new ways resulting in valuable information to save lives, resources and time.

In recent weeks, we’ve shared with you how WorldView-3 can see through smoke, and how the oil and gas industry can benefit from our superior resolution. Today we will share with you the first-ever-released 30 cm images from a commercial satellite, and interactive examples of the valuable information that can be extracted.

Before now, the only way to capture remotely sensed images at 30 cm resolution was from a camera mounted to the bottom of an airplane. But decision makers who rely on aerial imagery are dependent on costly, limited, geographic coverage and sporadic frequency, especially over large or remote regions. DigitalGlobe’s WorldView3 satellite, allows our customers to see the world with great fidelity, not just in one place at one time, but covering large areas on a frequent basis, at virtually any point on the globe.

WorldView-3’s super-spectral 30 cm imagery allows for fast and precise mapping of various features anywhere in the world – Madrid, Spain being the area of interest for this blog. To illustrate how much more visual information is contained in 30 cm image, examine the slider below.

On the left is the 30 cm image captured by WorldView-3 and on the right is a 70 cm resolution imagery, which represents the highest quality available from our nearest competitor. Notice the lettering on the taxiways/aprons that can be clearly identified at 30 cm resolution while the details are missing at 70 cm resolution. Finer details such as details on building rooftops, condition of taxiways, lampposts, and other details are only distinguishable at 30 cm WorldView-3 imagery.

Click here for a larger view.

Explore more WorldView-3 sample imagery via our slideshare presentation below:

In our next example, the visual information extracted from WorldView-3 can be a game changer for Urban Planners and GIS professionals.

On the left is the satellite image, and on the right is a map of all the information features [or layers] that have been extracted based on the available visual information. Urban planners can have an accurate and up-to-date map identifying; digitized building footprints, trees along the road indicating potential encroachment on power lines, sidewalks for easement and right of way, location of man holes for sewer access, road centerlines and widths, and swimming pools with and without permits. A WorldView-3 image is accurate both in resolution and in its alignment with the true surface of the Earth, therefore the extracted features are also in the right place and more certain, than a less accurate image.

The quality of information extracted from WorldView-3 is not possible with 70 cm imagery from any source. Urban planners can make smart decisions about the allocation of scarce resources with confidence, faster, and more cost effectively with WorldView-3.

Click here for a larger view.

WorldView-3 quality delivers value across a range of industries. A transportation department official can accurately identify and map road conditions on a frequent basis and over large areas. Compared to traditional ground and aerial surveying, 30 cm satellite data and information is more cost-effective, saving resources and time, as well as minimizing the carbon footprint on the environment.

Using the finer details of 30 cm imagery, transportation officials can accurately measure progress over time on major road projects, or decide which road issues need immediate attention, like fixing hazardous potholes.

Also in this example, you can see how an insurance company can identify the roof conditions on individual houses. This information is valuable to facilitate fast and equitable insurance settlements and minimizes false insurance claims on roof maintenance, in case of hail damage or other extreme weather.

In this slider, the 30 cm satellite image is on the right and the 70 cm image is on the left.

Click here for a larger view.

Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post where we’ll explore the unique spectral diversity that WorldView-3 offers. Capturing more than pixels with visual information, we are pioneering the ability to automatically extract valuable information in the invisible part of sunlight which carries additional spectral information.

In this interconnected global economy, understanding of micro, regional, and global trends is of paramount importance for decision makers. Being able to identify patterns and make decisions with confidence, based on the highest quality and most current visual information is important for today.  Having access to a broader spectrum of high quality data to peer into the unseen world will support our customer’s decisions for tomorrow.

For 30 cm imagery product samples go to

For more information on how DigitalGlobe is uniquely positioned to unlock the power of geospatial information to create information products and solutions for the changing planet, please visit:

DigitalGlobe would like to thank NOAA for permission to release the 30 cm examples shown and downloadable here. As per our operating license, 40 cm products are now available to all customers for purchase. Full commercial availability for 30 cm products begins in February 2015.


From a bird, from a plane, from a … satellite?

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

Mount Fuji has been the subject of untold millions of photographs, but this view captured by DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-3 satellite is truly unique.

When the image was taken, WorldView-3 was in orbit 617 km above earth’s surface and 2,500 km southeast of the iconic Japanese mountain. The satellite’s telescope was pointed at the mountain almost at the earth’s limb — in fact, from the mountain, the satellite would have appeared to be only 1 degree above the horizon — and yet it was still able to capture an image with roughly 1.2 m resolution. The Hida Mountains that can be clearly seen in the background are more than 150 km northwest of Mount Fuji.

This image illustrates once again the power of WorldView-3’s high resolution sensor, namely the ability to collect high-resolution oblique imagery, in addition to producing the sharpest and most information-rich commercial imagery when looking down from overhead. It also demonstrates the DigitalGlobe constellation’s industry-leading revisit frequency — more on this in a future blog post.