Partnership to enhance geospatial offerings for the Japanese market
LONGMONT, Colo. — April 3, 2014 — DigitalGlobe, Inc. (NYSE: DGI), a leading global provider of commercial high-resolution earth observation and advanced geospatial solutions, today announced that NTT DATA Corporation, one of the largest IT service providers in the world, will become the new master reseller of DigitalGlobe commercial satellite imagery and geospatial solutions in Japan, effective April 1, 2014.
“We are very excited about commencing this new partnership with NTT DATA and further contributing to a variety of government and commercial applications in Japan,” said Takayuki Odawara, vice president and head of APAC commercial sales for DigitalGlobe. “Our customers in Japan can expect a significant expansion of our presence and unique geospatial products and services.”
NTT DATA will help expand the use of DigitalGlobe’s products and services within numerous customer segments throughout Japan, including civil governments, local governments, and enterprise industries including telecommunications, mapping, environment applications and other GIS-related industries.
“We’re excited to begin this partnership with DigitalGlobe to bring enhanced geospatial solutions to the Japanese market,” said Yutaka Saitou, Head of e-Community Division, Public Sector, NTT DATA Corporation. “This partnership will create a synergy by combining our novel IT solutions and DigitalGlobe’s state-of-the-art earth imagery solutions to deliver new capabilities to the Japanese geospatial market, in particular the telecommunications and infrastructure sectors.”
DigitalGlobe today confirmed that it provided the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) with the satellite images that appear to show debris that may be related to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which has been missing for 12 days and counting. The satellite images were captured on March 16 by our WorldView-2 satellite at a resolution of approximately 50 cm. Working with our customers, DigitalGlobe continues to task our satellites to collect imagery of a wide area that includes the waters around where the possible debris was identified yesterday.
Given the extraordinary size of the current search area, the lengthy duration of the analysis effort was to be expected. Our constellation of five high-resolution imaging satellites captures more than 3 million square kilometers of earth imagery each day, and this volume of imagery is far too vast to search through in real time without an idea of where to look. We have been applying our satellite resources over a broader area than the official search area, while only focusing the efforts of our Tomnod crowdsourcing volunteers on the search areas identified by authorities. The efforts of millions of online volunteers around the world allowed us to rule out broad swaths of ocean with some certainty.
In the meantime, other customers including the U.S. government and other governments have been receiving our imagery for their own search efforts. Based on our understanding, the search area expanded to the southern Indian Ocean region and waters near Australia only in the last few days, at which time the Australian government started combing through imagery of this extremely large area.
No conclusions have been reached about the origins of the debris or objects shown in the imagery, and we are not aware that any subsequent search missions have been able to locate it. But the experience again demonstrates the unparalleled geographic reach and persistence that satellite imagery provides for critical government missions and emergency response situations.
Our thoughts go out to the families and communities of those affected by this tragic situation, and DigitalGlobe will continue our support of this recovery effort in accordance with our purpose of Seeing a Better World™.
DigitalGlobe is proud to introduce the product name 50 cm TRUE* for its highest resolution satellite imagery products. When you see 50 cm TRUE*, you know that the image was taken by a satellite with *resolution better than 50 cm at nadir (directly overhead) and also delivers minimum 5 m CE90 accuracy. DigitalGlobe is currently the only commercial provider of native 50 cm satellite imagery.
DigitalGlobe has been delivering true 50 cm imagery to our customers for more than five years, so why the name change now? As of today, only DigitalGlobe can collect and deliver satellite imagery that is truly 50 cm, so we want to ensure our customers know what they’re getting. Some other companies, such as Airbus Defense and Space, may claim to have 50 cm satellite imagery, but that’s not fully accurate.
In a very basic sense, our satellites are cameras on orbit in space. We use very powerful lenses that look back down at the Earth and take pictures of what’s happening on the ground. Three out of the five satellites in DigitalGlobe’s constellation are capable of collecting imagery at 50 cm resolution or better, and with WorldView-3 ready to launch this summer, we will be able to collect imagery down to almost 30 cm resolution.
Why is having the highest resolution imagery important? You might have seen an action movie where the characters are looking at a blurry image on screen and one of them says “Enhance!”. Someone then hits a button and the blurry image becomes clearer and more defined. Unfortunately, that only happens in the movies. Once a picture is taken, new information can’t be added to the image. You can make a sharp image blurry, but not the other way around.
To give an on-earth example, think about digital cameras. In every electronics store, the advertisements talk about how many megapixels each camera can capture, and for good reason. The number of pixels in the image is a measure of how much information it contains. A four megapixel camera takes pictures with TWICE the information of a two megapixel camera. A true 50 cm satellite image has about four million pixels per square kilometer, while a 70 cm image only has two million pixels per square kilometer. There’s a reason why the two megapixel cameras are cheaper at the electronics store than the four megapixel models.
Example of 50 cm TRUE* image as 4 megapixel photo of the Burj Kalifa, Dubai
Example of 70 cm image as 2 megapixel photo of the Burj Kalifa, Dubai
In the first example you can see definition around windows, cars, direction of traffic, which is not detectable in the second example.
Providing the highest-available resolution is foundational to how DigitalGlobe achieves its Purpose of Seeing a Better World™. If you’re looking for real 50 cm satellite imagery, our archive contains over 700 million square kilometers to meet your needs. If someone else tells you they have 50 cm imagery, make sure to ask them if it’s truly 50 cm. It might be something else pretending to be 50 cm, in which casethat blurry image might make you want to shout “Enhance!”