Seeing a Better World™

Go Map the World

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

Olivier Ricordel / @ricordel
Marketing @digitalglobe

As the State Of The Map 2014 event in Washington, DC is now behind us, I want to share the pleasure it was for the 10-plus DigitalGlobe team to engage with the OpenStreetMap community at this event.

If you were lucky enough to attend Kevin Bullock’s (@kevin_bullock) presentation about tracing with raster, I don’t need to explain to you why accuracy has always been so important for mappers and surveyors. For DigitalGlobe, mapping is about resolution, but it is also about accuracy. Our upcoming WorldView-3 satellite is designed to extend this leadership further. We had incredible amount of interest during Kevin’s session and we apologize if you were stuck in the overflow area. Available now is the video of his presentation that you can watch from the comfort of your own home.

The constant flow of interest at our table was heartwarming. Thank you for stopping by and please keep your questions coming.

I’m thrilled about our renewed and expanded commercial relationship with MapBox. It gives the entire OpenStreetMap community a license to trace over the most accurate satellite imagery, using the MapBox Satellite layer. Furthermore we applaud MapBox’s launch of their Commercial Satellite offering – allowing users to create derivative vectors with a simple licensing model, something that can benefit a larger mapping audience and the entire OpenStreetMap ecosystem.

Thank you all for bringing so much energy to this event, and kudos to the organizers for an event  so well run!

 

 

Mapping the World with OpenStreetMap via Mapbox

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

Kevin Bullock (@kevin_bullock), Senior Manager Product Management at DigitalGlobe

We are partnering with Mapbox to bring timely and relevant imagery to OpenStreetMap. As of today you can access DigitalGlobe imagery for tracing through the Mapbox Satellite layer available in popular OpenStreetMap editors like iD or JOSM.

DigitalGlobe has been a supporter and contributor to OpenStreetMap for many years now, our imagery acts as a foundation for extracting information, tracing streets and providing a baseline for vector maps. This is made possible through our industry leading image resolution and accuracy, together with completeness of coverage in our archive, and our ability to refresh on a global scale.

OpenStreetMap is pervasive in many geospatial workflows, such as Location Based Services and Apps, Government intelligence, Humanitarian efforts and many Enterprise verticals. Our work with Mapbox is a continuation of support of OpenStreetMap development, such as our release of imagery for mapping Ebola affected areas. Our plan is to build on this and increase the velocity of mapping the world, with an end goal of providing the most beautiful hybrid map with OpenStreetMap content.

If you’re interested in learning more, see my presentation at State of the Map US in Washington DC.

NEWS via Ball Aerospace – Environmental Testing for WorldView-3 Remote Sensing Spacecraft Complete

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

Mid-August Launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base Anticipated for Newest Addition to DigitalGlobe Constellation

BOULDER, Colo., April 8, 2014 — Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has completed a series of environmental tests on WorldView-3, the next generation commercial remote-sensing satellite built for DigitalGlobe, a leading global provider of high-resolution earth imagery solutions.

The satellite and its integrated sensors and electronics successfully completed thermal vacuum, acoustic, vibration, and pyro-separation testing to confirm the design integrity of the spacecraft. Electromagnetic interference and electromagnetic compatibility will complete on April 23.

“Successful completion of the major environmental testing is the latest example of Ball’s reputation for providing DigitalGlobe with the most agile, advanced platforms for remote-sensing,” said Cary Ludtke, vice president and general manager for Ball’s Operational Space business unit.

New to WorldView-3 is a Ball Aerospace-built atmospheric instrument called CAVIS, which stands for Cloud, Aerosol, water Vapor, Ice, Snow. CAVIS will monitor the atmosphere and provide correction data to improve WorldView-3′s imagery when it images earth objects through haze, soot, dust or other obscurants. CAVIS has also been integrated with the spacecraft.

“The addition of a new Ball-built sensing instrument to WorldView-3 will enable the satellite to significantly improve the quality of some of the world’s most accurate images following the anticipated mid-August launch,” said Ludtke.

WorldView-3 is the first multi-payload, super-spectral, high-resolution commercial satellite for earth observations and advanced geospatial solutions. Operating at an expected altitude of 617 km, WorldView-3 collects imagery with 31 cm panchromatic resolution, 1.24 m multispectral resolution, 3.7 m short-wave infrared (SWIR) resolution, and 30 m CAVIS resolution. This level of resolution performance would be fundamentally impossible without the 1.1 m aperture telescope built by Exelis and carried by WorldView-3, which allows for a breadth of applications unmatched by smaller, lower-performance satellites. Currently, U.S. government restrictions require commercial satellite imagery provided to non-U.S. government customers be limited to no less than 50 cm panchromatic, 2.0 m multispectral, or 7.5 meter SWIR.

The range of customer applications enabled by the DigitalGlobe constellation is greatly expanded by WorldView-3′s ability to sense both the visible spectrum as well as deeper into the infrared spectrum. Its data-rich imagery will enable customers to search for new sources of minerals and fuels, manage forests and farms, and accelerate DigitalGlobe’s creation of Geospatial Big Data™ – a living inventory of the surface of the earth.

“With WorldView-3 heading closer to launch, we’re excited to continue moving the industry forward with unmatched capabilities and the most advanced commercial satellite constellation in existence,” said Dr. Walter Scott, executive vice president, chief technical officer and founder of DigitalGlobe. “Once WorldView-3 is operational, innovations like CAVIS and the SWIR bands will open up new frontiers of information and insight for customers who rely on DigitalGlobe as an indispensable source of information about our changing planet.” By carrying forward the satellites’ advanced Control Moment Gyroscopes (CMGs), WorldView-3 builds upon WorldView-2 and WorldView-1 technology. The CMGs reorient a satellite over a desired collection area in 4-5 seconds, compared to 30-45 seconds needed for traditional reaction wheels.

WorldView-3 is built on the Ball Configurable Platform BCP 5000 spacecraft, designed to handle the next-generation optical and synthetic aperture radar remote sensing payloads. The performance of the WorldView-3 bus currently equals or exceeds that of its predecessor, WorldView-2. The high-performance BCP 5000 has a design life of more than seven years, and provides a platform with increased power, resolution, agility, target selection, flexibility, transmission capability and data storage. Ball provided the BCP 5000 under a fixed-price contract.

WorldView-3 is expected to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket in mid-August. WorldView-3 is the fifth satellite built by Ball Aerospace for DigitalGlobe and the fourth that will join the remote-sensing constellation.