Seeing a Better World™

DigitalGlobe’s Global Enhanced GEOINT Delivery (Global-EGD) Contract Renewed for One Year

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

UPDATED 09/09/2014

We’re excited to announce that the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) has awarded DigitalGlobe the second year of the Global Enhanced GEOINT Delivery (Global-EGD) contract starting Sept. 1, 2014.

This renewal builds on our years of service providing the NGA and its customers with unclassified high-resolution imagery in support of operational planning, emergency response, and situational awareness.

Global-EGD’s products are available in ready to use formats with access to more than 4 billion square kilometers of imagery in our archive. Global-EGD also stays up to date by including the “Daily Take” which adds about 1.5 million square kilometers (more than double the landmass of Texas) of new earth imagery every day, ensuring that the most current data is quickly available. These daily updates are online within 2 hours after downlink and as fast as 12 minutes.

In the coming weeks, Global-EGD will also include imagery from the recently launched WorldView-3 satellite. This is the company’s sixth and most advanced commercial satellite.

DigitalGlobe’s Global-EGD solution offers analysts, decision makers and those in the field fast access (online and offline) to the latest insights and analysis, when they need it, creating a level of situational awareness previously unavailable.

The Global-EGD video offers more details about the unique benefits for our government customers. If you would like to learn more about the program and sign up for access using your government email please visit www.digitalglobe.com/egd.

Revealing the Hidden World with Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) Imagery

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

“Smoke disappears and fire hotspots become clearly visible”

WorldView-3, the newest addition to the DigitalGlobe constellation, will enable our customers to see the world in new ways. Not only does it offer the highest resolution in the industry, as you saw in our first imagery blog post, but the satellite also carries a shortwave infrared (SWIR) sensor, built by Exelis, that will unlock information and insight in new ways.

One of the amazing things that SWIR enables is the ability to see through the dense smoke of an active fire to the ground beneath, as well as locating the flame front and hot spots in the fire. We used WorldView-3 to image a forest fire burning at the Happy Camp complex in California’s Klamath National Forest last week. The image on the left is what you see in the visible part of the spectrum, which is what a standard commercial imaging satellite would see. The smoke completely obscures the ground.

Move the slider to see the image on the right, and uncover what can be seen with SWIR imagery: the smoke disappears, and the hot spots in the fire become clearly visible. Both of these are overview images that show the full extent of the fire and are not at full resolution. The SWIR image is a “false color” composite made from three of the eight SWIR bands (bands 6, 3, and 1) that coincidentally give an orange color to the fire.


Here is a further zoom around the burn area:

The SWIR bands penetrate smoke to differing degrees. SWIR band 8 has the best smoke penetration; here is a zoomed in shot of the fire line in which no smoke is visible:

But it gets even better. Not only does SWIR see through smoke and detect hot spots, but it can even give an estimate of where the fire is burning the hottest. The last image is a relative temperature “heat map” calculated by looking at all eight SWIR spectral bands (colors) carried on WorldView-3, showing where the fire is most intense.

We are looking forward to providing this new capability to firefighters and emergency responders around the globe as we help them to save lives and resources – yet another example of how DigitalGlobe fulfills its purpose of Seeing a Better World™.

Watch this space for more examples of how WorldView-3 sees the world clearly and in new ways!

WorldView-3: First Images!

By DigitalGlobe | Published:

On August 13, 2014, DigitalGlobe launched WorldView-3 into orbit. On August 19, a mere six days after launch, our team completed commissioning  the satellite bus and opened the door on the main telescope to begin observing our changing planet. And on August 21, we  completed our focusing and achieved Initial Operational Capability (“IOC”) on the entire suite of WorldView-3’s 27 super-spectral bands.

Jeff Tarr, Chief Executive Officer, said “We are delighted that even in the early stages of calibration and commissioning WorldView-3 is revealing new insights that will enable customers to address some of the most pressing global challenges. WorldView-3 performance is exceeding our expectations and is a great step forward in helping our customers make critical decisions with confidence as they save lives, resources and time.”

We are pleased to share several WorldView-3 image examples from our collection of Madrid Spain, and highlight a variety of use cases for existing and new DigitalGlobe customers.  Because of the regulatory restrictions, we can’t yet display the 30 cm native resolution data, so we’re sharing imagery resampled to 40 cm which is available to download below.

Click the image below to download referenced examples on our Slideshare page 

UPDATED 8/29/13
You can also browse the large scene of the Madrid imagery below along with some extra examples here:
We recommend using the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox or Safari.

As shown in our WorldView-3 slide examples, customers can more easily determine the type of vehicle (cars, trucks, sedans, mini vans) and its speed and direction, which is valuable for a range of industry vertical customers. With 30 cm super-spectral imagery, quantitative assessments of the state of highway networks — including surface wear — can provide valuable maintenance planning information to national, state, and local governments.

In our second example, WorldView-3 offers the improved ability to distinguish different types of aircraft as well as their equipment and features. Assessing vehicle type, state of activity, condition and maintenance are valuable to governments and other civil aviation stakeholders.

Highly precise images of our changing planet are important for decision makers managing Earth’s natural resources. With WorldView-3, DigitalGlobe can automatically distinguish different colors, textures and measure change over time which is important for the energy sector, conservationists, and governments. Our Short Wave Infra-Red (SWIR) sensor will multiply the value of WorldView-3  imagery by enabling the detection of specific mineral content and species of vegetation through signatures not identifiable with the naked eye.

WorldView-3 can also more accurately monitor the rate of development and investment at a regional or global scale. This includes the rate of construction as well as finer details like building materials, roof-top reflectance, road networks and population density, which is valuable to governments, industry and location based service customers. In one example image, individual shipping containers can easily be counted and measured which is valuable information for monitoring economic activity and trends at various marine ports, airports, rail yards and other logistics hubs.

We are beyond thrilled by the clarity and quality of the imagery that we are sharing today. We thank our partners at Ball Aerospace and Exelis for building such a terrific satellite, and to the Lockheed Martin and ULA teams for putting it on orbit safely.

We look forward to sharing more imagery and examples of WorldView-3 over the coming weeks. Leave us a comment and let us know what you’d like to see from WorldView-3 and ideas for helping us move toward our purpose of Seeing a Better World™.

Note: DigitalGlobe formally notified the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of WorldView-3’s IOC, which means that beginning on February 21, 2015, we will able to deliver 30 cm imagery to all of our customers. In the meantime, we will make 40 cm panchromatic and 1.6 m multispectral data available to our customers when WorldView-3 completes its validation and testing. Data from the satellite’s new shortwave infrared (SWIR) sensor will also be available to customers, however the resolution of this data will be restricted to 7.5 m while NOAA is conducting a six-month study of the capability.